Published online Jan 18, 2017. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v9.i2.69
Peer-review started: August 24, 2016
First decision: September 27, 2016
Revised: October 24, 2016
Accepted: November 21, 2016
Article in press: November 22, 2016
Published online: January 18, 2017
In the last decades the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has increased as a consequence of the childhood obesity world epidemic. The liver damage occurring in NAFLD ranges from simple steatosis to steatohepatitis, fibrosis and cirrhosis. Recent findings reported that fatty liver disease is related to early atherosclerosis and cardiac dysfunction even in the pediatric population. Moreover, some authors have shown an association between liver steatosis and cardiac abnormalities, including rise in left ventricular mass, systolic and diastolic dysfunction and epicardial adipose tissue thickness. In this editorial, we provide a brief overview of the current knowledge concerning the association between NAFLD and cardiac dysfunction.
Core tip: Recently, growing scientific evidences suggest that obese children with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease are more predisposed to cardiovascular disease. Interestingly, this association seems to be independent from adiposity. In fact, based on recent findings, it has been proposed that liver steatosis plays an independent role in determining early atherosclerosis and cardiac dysfunction.