Fatty liver associated with increased risk of dementia – healing practice

Fatty liver a risk factor for dementia

One non-alcoholic fatty liver disease seems a potential according to a recent study risk factor for dementia. In addition, people with this form of liver disease who have had heart disease or a stroke appear to be at an even higher risk of dementia.

A research team from Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm has investigated whether there is a connection between non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and the probability of a dementia consists. According to the results, non-alcoholic fatty liver can be assessed as a potential risk factor for dementia. The corresponding study results were published in the specialist journal “Neurology”.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver prevalent

Up to 25 percent of people worldwide are from one non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affected, making it the most common chronic form of liver disease, the researchers report.

The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, for example, can be caused by overweight and related diseases such as high blood pressure or Typ-2-Diabetes be conditional. And in a small percentage of those affected, it leads to liver inflammation or liver damage.

“Common risk factors for both non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and dementia include metabolic disorders such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity”emphasizes the study author Dr. Ying Shang from Karolinska Institutet.

Relationship between fatty liver and dementia investigated

In the current study, the researchers wanted to find out whether there is a connection between this form of liver disease and the risk of dementia – independent of other risk factors.

To do this, the team evaluated and identified the data from the national Swedish patient registry 2,898 people aged 65 and over who have a diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had been.

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Also served 28,357 people without fatty liver as a control group, which were comparable in terms of age, sex and place of residence.

After a median follow-up of more than five years, 145 people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (5 percent) had a dementia diagnosed, compared to 1,291 people without liver disease (4.6 percent).

Significantly increased dementia rate

When accounting for cardiovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had one overall compared to people without liver disease 38 percent higher rate of dementia up, reports the research team.

A special on vascular dementia related evaluation have shown that people with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease even have a 44 percent higher rate of dementia exhibited than people without the liver disease.

Persons who, in addition to a non-alcoholic fatty liver, also have a heart disease had a 50 percent higher risk of dementia, and if they had one stroke had suffered, the risk of dementia was more than 2.5 times as high, the experts write.

“Our study shows that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with the development of dementia, which may be mainly caused by vascular damage in the brain”summarizes Dr. Shang together.

A targeted treatment of this form of liver disease and the cardiovascular diseases that occur at the same time could therefore reduce risk of dementia, according to the study author. (fp)

Author and source information


  • Ying Shang, Linnea Widman, Hannes Hagström: Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease and Risk of Dementia: A Population-Based Cohort Study; in: Neurology (veröffentlicht 13.07.2022),
  • American Academy of Neurology: Study: Liver disease linked to higher risk of dementia (veröffentlicht 13.07.2022),

Important NOTE:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.



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