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Obesity (Silver Spring). 2008 Jun;16(6):1394-9. doi: 10.1038/oby.2008.64. Epub 2008 Mar 27.

NASH predicts plasma inflammatory biomarkers independently of visceral fat in men.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, "Sacro Cuore" Hospital, Negrar (VR), Italy.


We assessed the differential contribution of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and visceral adiposity to nontraditional cardiovascular risk biomarkers in adult men. We enrolled 45 consecutive, overweight, male patients with biopsy-proven NASH, 45 overweight male patients without ultrasound-diagnosed hepatic steatosis, and 45 healthy male volunteers. All participants were matched for age; NASH and overweight patients were also matched for BMI and visceral adiposity (as estimated by abdominal ultrasonography). Nontraditional cardiovascular risk biomarkers were measured in all participants. Plasma concentrations of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), fibrinogen, plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) activity, and adiponectin were markedly different among the groups; the lowest values (the highest for adiponectin) were in nonobese healthy subjects, intermediate in overweight nonsteatotic patients, and the highest (the lowest for adiponectin) in those with biopsy-proven NASH. The marked differences in these cardiovascular risk biomarkers that were observed between overweight and NASH patients were only slightly weakened after adjustment for age, BMI, smoking, plasma triglycerides, and insulin resistance (IR) as assessed by homeostasis model assessment (HOMA). In multivariate regression analysis, NASH and visceral adiposity predicted cardiovascular risk biomarkers independently of potential confounders. In conclusion, our results suggest that NASH can predict a more atherogenic risk profile in a manner that is partly independent from the contribution of visceral adiposity in adult men.

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