Wednesday July 18, 2018

Obesity may affect a child’s liver

Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures

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Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.
Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications. Pixabay
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Parents take note. If your child is obese or overweight, it may have negative impact on his or her liver, a new study suggests. The study found that bigger waist circumference at the age of three raises the likelihood that by the time the child is eight years old, he or she will have markers for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat accumulates in the liver and triggers inflammation, causing liver damage.

“With the rise in childhood obesity, we are seeing more kids with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in our paediatric weight management practice,” said lead author Jennifer Woo Baidal, Assistant Professor at Columbia University.

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Children are falling prey to obesity. Wikimedia Commons

“Many parents know that obesity can lead to Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions, but there is far less awareness that obesity, even in young children, can lead to serious liver disease,” Baidal added. For the study, published in the Journal of Paediatrics, the researchers looked for fatty liver risk factors in younger children.

The researchers measured blood levels of a liver enzyme called ALT — elevated ALT is a marker for liver damage and can occur in individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and other conditions that affect the liver — in 635 children. The researchers found that by the age eight, 23 per cent of children in the study had elevated ALT levels. Children with a bigger waist circumference (a measure of abdominal obesity) at age three and those with greater gains in obesity measures between ages three and eight were more likely to have elevated ALT. Approximately 35 per cent of eight-year-olds with obesity had elevated ALT versus 20 per cent of those with normal weight, the researcher said.

Also Read: How Gut Bacteria May Increase Obesity Risk

“Some clinicians measure ALT levels in at-risk children starting at around 10 years old, but our findings underscore the importance of acting earlier in a child’s life to prevent excess weight gain and subsequent liver inflammation,” Baidal said. IANS

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Obesity Alone Does not Increase Death Risk: Study

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease

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The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.
The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors. Pixabay

Patients who have metabolically healthy obesity but are free from other metabolic risk factors do not have an increased rate of mortality, a new study has found.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Obesity, showed that unlike dyslipidemia, hypertension and diabetes — each one of which is related to high mortality risk — obesity alone does not pose any threat to life.

“We are showing that individuals with metabolically healthy obesity are actually not at an elevated mortality rate,” said lead author Jennifer Kuk, Associate Professor at the York University in Canada.

“We found that a person of normal weight with no other metabolic risk factors is just as likely to die as the person with obesity and no other risk factors,” Kuk added.

Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications.
Metabolically healthy obesity is a debatable medical condition characterized by obesity which does not produce metabolic complications. Pixabay

For the study, the research team followed 54,089 men and women from five cohort studies who were categorized as having obesity alone or clustered with a metabolic factor, or elevated glucose, blood pressure or lipids alone or clustered with obesity or another metabolic factor.

The researchers looked at how many people within each group died as compared to those within the normal weight population with no metabolic risk factors.

They found that one out of 20 individuals with obesity had no other metabolic abnormalities.

Also Read: Abdominal Obesity Linked to Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms

“This is in contrast with most of the literature and we think this is because most studies have defined metabolic healthy obesity as having up to one metabolic risk factor,” said Kuk.

“This is clearly problematic, as hypertension alone increases your mortality risk and past literature would have called these patients with obesity and hypertension, ‘healthy’. This is likely why most studies have reported that ‘healthy’ obesity is still related with higher mortality risk,” Kuk noted.

Earlier, a study, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, found that women with metabolically healthy obesity were at 39 per cent higher risk of cardiovascular disease. (IANS)