Fatty liver as the name suggests is the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver owing to buildup of central body fat. The condition may be a crucial one in explaining the association between liver enzymes, hypertension and alcohol consumption. It has now been concluded from the study that persons with fatty liver may be more predisposed to developing hypertension than alcoholics.
The study was conducted among a group of 1,455 individuals who were evaluated for baseline levels of GGT, blood pressure, weight, abdominal height and size of waistline. The patients were further divided into four groups on the basis of GGT levels and were required to fill questionnaires regarding their lifestyle, health and drinking habit.
From the results, a few generalizations have been arrived at according to which fatty liver should be considered part of the metabolic syndrome, to assess a patient's risk for cardiovascular disease. Persons with abdominal obesity, low HDL cholesterol, high blood sugar, high blood pressure and high triglycerides are considered at high risk for development of fatty liver that can later lead to hepatitis or cirrhosis.
The liver enzyme GGT, commonly measured to test liver function is strongly affected by variation in weight and, most importantly, body fat distribution. Infact GGT was a significant predictor of hypertension only among overweight participants with increased central body fat.
Alcohol consumption was initially thought to play a role in the development of hypertension because it was considered a significant risk factor for the chronic disease. Furthermore associations had also been established between the GGT enzyme, a marker for alcohol consumption and hypertension. Chronic liver disease, in which GGT levels can be increased, often is associated with heavy alcohol consumption or actual alcoholism.
The findings of the present study can have valuable clinical and public health implications. The research group is now focused towards the identification of such associations in diabetic individuals.