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Clinically significant chronic liver disease in people with T2D

Type 2 diabetes is an established independent risk factor for chronic liver disease, but the incidence of clinically significant chronic liver disease among community-based older people with type 2 diabetes is not known. As part of the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study, over 900 people with type 2 diabetes were assessed. Researchers aimed to establish risk factors that might help in finding individuals with undiagnosed disease and as part of this identified a clinically significant incidence of chronic liver disease, confirming the suspicion of a large burden of undiagnosed disease.

By Colin Kenny, GP, Dromore


In this analysis, a wide range of hepatic biomarkers was assessed in a cohort of over 900 participants within the Edinburgh Type 2 Diabetes Study. Liver screening was only undertaken if the individuals met criteria for referral to specialist hepatology or if hepatic steatosis was present on an ultrasound scan and the participant had never previously had a liver screen.

In the study, the prevalence of chronic liver disease was discovered to be 2.2% at baseline, with an incidence of the disease of 1.4% over nearly 6 years. The investigators argued that the ability to identify individuals either with, or at risk of developing, clinically significant chronic liver disease would allow for early intervention and improved clinical monitoring strategies. Ongoing work with longer follow-up, including analysis of rates of liver function decline, may be useful in defining optimal risk prediction tools.

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