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Weight Loss Improves Liver Abnormalities in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C

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  • claudine intexas
    Weight Loss Improves Liver Abnormalities in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jul 24 - Steatosis and elevated liver enzyme levels are
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2002
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      Weight Loss Improves Liver Abnormalities in Patients With Chronic
      Hepatitis C

      NEW YORK (Reuters Health) Jul 24 - Steatosis and elevated liver
      enzyme levels are a common finding in patients with chronic hepatitis
      C. New study findings indicate that both of these abnormalities may
      be improved by weight loss.
      Apart from avoiding alcohol use, there have been few reports of
      lifestyle changes that can improve hepatitis C liver disease.
      However, in some patients with chronic hepatitis C, the pathogenesis
      of steatosis appears similar to that seen in patients with
      non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Namely, the steatosis is related
      to the presence of visceral adiposity and elevated serum insulin
      levels.

      Based on this, Dr. E. E. Powell, from Princess Alexandra Hospital in
      Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues decided to investigate if weight
      loss would improve the steatosis and abnormal enzyme levels seen in
      patients with chronic hepatitis C. The researchers' findings are
      published in the July issue of Gut.

      The study involved 19 patients with steatosis and chronic hepatitis C
      who participated in a 3-month weight reduction program. Liver
      histology was determined in 10 subjects before and after the weight
      loss intervention.

      The subjects experienced a mean weight loss of 5.9 kg and mean waist
      circumference reduction of 9.0 cm. In most patients, serum alanine
      aminotransferase levels fell progressively as weight decreased.
      Furthermore, a significant reduction in fasting insulin levels was
      also observed (p < 0.002).

      Nine patients experienced a reduction in steatosis and the extent of
      improvement was directly related to the amount of weight loss (p =
      0.005), the authors note. Moreover, the improvement was independent
      of the viral genotype present. Five of these nine patients also
      demonstrated a reduction in fibrosis.

      "These results demonstrate for the first time that weight reduction
      in patients with chronic HCV may reduce hepatic steatosis," the
      investigators point out. "We believe that weight reduction may
      provide an important new adjunct treatment strategy for patients with
      chronic hepatitis C."

      Gut 2002;51:89-94.


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