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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with an increased risk of heart block in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with an increased risk of heart block in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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Mantovani A, Rigolon R, Pichiri I, Bonapace S, Morani G, Zoppini G, Bonora E, Targher G,


Mantovani A, Rigolon R, Pichiri I, Bonapace S, Morani G, Zoppini G, Bonora E, Targher G, (click to view)

Mantovani A, Rigolon R, Pichiri I, Bonapace S, Morani G, Zoppini G, Bonora E, Targher G,

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PloS one 2017 10 0512(10) e0185459 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0185459
Abstract

Recent studies suggested that nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is associated with an increased risk of cardiac tachyarrhythmias (mainly atrial fibrillation) in patients with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus. The aim of this study was to examine whether an association also exists between NAFLD and heart block. We have retrospectively evaluated a hospital-based cohort of 751 patients with type 2 diabetes discharged from our Division of Diabetes and Endocrinology during years 2007-2014. Standard electrocardiograms were performed on all patients. Diagnosis of NAFLD was based on ultrasonography, whereas the severity of advanced hepatic fibrosis was based on the fibrosis (FIB)-4 score and other non-invasive fibrosis markers. Overall, 524 (69.8%) patients had NAFLD and 202 (26.9%) had heart block (defined as at least one block among first-degree atrio-ventricular block, second-degree block, third-degree block, left bundle branch block, right bundle branch block, left anterior hemi-block or left posterior hemi-block) on electrocardiograms. Patients with NAFLD had a remarkably higher prevalence of any persistent heart block than those without NAFLD (31.3% vs. 16.7%, p<0.001); this prevalence was particularly increased among those with higher FIB-4 score. NAFLD was associated with a threefold increased risk of prevalent heart block (adjusted-odds ratio 3.04, 95% CI 1.81-5.10), independently of age, sex, hypertension, prior ischemic heart disease, hemoglobin A1c, microvascular complication status, use of medications and other potentially confounding factors. In conclusion, this is the largest cross-sectional study to show that NAFLD and its severity are independently associated with an increased risk of prevalent heart block in hospitalized patients with type 2 diabetes.

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