Fatty liver disease refers to accumulation of fat in the liver cells of patients. Researchers have identified a genetic variant that can been linked with an increased risk of fatty liver disease in obese youth. However, the researchers observed that children with the variant tend to have lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
The gene variant analyzed in this study lies within the gene that codes for the transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) protein, which helps regulate the liver's metabolism of fat.
The study findings may help investigators develop new ways to prevent or treat liver damage in patients with fatty liver disease and to ameliorate heart problems in obese children and adolescents.
The study is published in Hepatology.