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Cardiometabolic effects of antidiabetic drugs in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

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PURPOSE: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects about 25% of the population worldwide. NAFLD may be viewed as the hepatological manifestation of metabolic syndrome. Patients with metabolic syndrome due to diabetes or obesity have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This narrative review describes cardiometabolic effects of antidiabetic drugs in NAFLD.

METHODS: We conducted a systematic search in PubMed and manually scanned bibliographies in trial databases and reference lists in relevant articles.

RESULTS: Heart disease is the leading cause of death in NAFLD. Conversely, NAFLD is an independent cardiovascular risk factor in patients suffering from metabolic syndrome. NAFLD is associated with markers of atherosclerosis, and patients have increased risk of ischaemic heart disease. Additionally, patients with NAFLD have increased risk of cardiac dysfunction and heart failure. There are no randomized controlled trials showing clear effects of medical treatment on clinical outcomes in patients with NAFLD. However, based on evidence from small trials and extrapolation from trials evaluating patients with type 2 diabetes, some antidiabetic drugs may be beneficial on cardiovascular function in patients with NAFLD.

CONCLUSION: At present, there is promising evidence of a potential effect of antidiabetic drugs for patients with NAFLD. Future studies should address the treatment of NAFLD and the liver-related consequences but also aim at improving the cardiometabolic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Physiology and Functional Imaging
ISSN1475-0961
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 May 2018

ID: 53971084