Fatty liver: what role does poor sleep play?

  • useful information around the fatty liver
  • Study: connection between sleep quality and fatty liver
  • Conclusion

She stayed for a long time undetectedalthough she is a very common illness is: Fatty liver, also called steatosis hepatis. In previous research, some risk factors identified for the liver disease. We will tell you what role sleep plays in the disease.

The clinical picture of fatty liver

In Germany, fatty liver is a very common clinical picture. However, the number of people suffering from fatty liver is not only increasing in western industrialized nations, the number is also rising rapidly in emerging countries. 2019 suspected the German Cancer Research Centerthat around 30 to 40 percent of the world population suffer from liver disease.

Basically one speaks from a fatty liverif more than that half of the liver cells are fatty or the fat content more than ten percent of the total weight of the liver. The main risk group includes overweight and alcohol-dependent people, but slim people or those who are slightly overweight can also become ill. Because the disease very has few or no symptoms, in many cases it is only discovered by chance during an ultrasound or blood test. If a fatty liver is suspected, a detailed Talk to a doctor or nurse and a subsequent examination is recommended.

In medicine, between a non-alcoholic fatty liver and one alcoholic fatty liver differentiated. Extremely high alcohol consumption contributes to the development of alcoholic fatty liver. Appropriate risk factors for the development of a non-alcoholic fatty liver are, among other things, an unhealthy diet, lack of exercise and overweight or an existing diabetes disease. The factors will not restricted or avoidedcan in the further course of liver inflammation, a cirrhosis or develop liver cancer.

Implementation and results of the study

In addition to the risk factors already listed, a connection between sleeping behavior and fatty liver disease has now also been established. The link between sleep behavior and metabolic disorder-associated fatty liver disease has been extensively analyzed in a study one Sun Yat-sen University research teams.

Around 5,000 Chinese women and men with fatty liver disease agreed to disclose their sleep patterns to the research team. Subsequently, based on a mediator analysis checked whether and to what extent the already known risk factor of obesity has an amplifying effect. The aim was therefore to find out whether the observed effects of sleep quality on fatty liver risk are also influenced by the obesity factor.

In a press release reported study author Dr. Yan Liu that people with poor sleep at night and multiple sleep breaks throughout the day highest risk of disease own. Even a slight improvement in the quality of sleep could turn the risk around Reduce 29%; so the doctor. The result of the mediator analysis was that people who do little exercise and are obese have the effects of poor sleep quality even more pronounced were than the other subjects.


In summary, it shows that in addition to known factors such as diet and obesity, the sleep quality has a significant impact on fatty liver risk. The effects of poor sleep quality on fatty liver risk are even more so with obesity than a normal weight. The authors of the study postulate that even a moderate improvement in sleep can significantly reduce the risk.

According to the research group’s demands, the aspect of sleep quality should also be addressed in future fatty liver diagnosis. This can be done with different strategies easily treated and improved will.

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