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Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Hepatic Steatosis in Northern Italy

Stefano Bellentani, MD, PhD; Gioconda Saccoccio, MD; Flora Masutti, MD; Lory S. Crocè, MD; Giovanni Brandi, MD; Franco Sasso, MD; Giovanni Cristanini, MD; and Claudio Tiribelli, MD, PhD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

From Fondo per lo Studio delle Malattie del Fegato and University of Trieste, Trieste, Italy.

Presented in part at the 33rd European Association for the Study of the Liver Annual Meeting, Lisbon, Portugal, 15-18 April 1998.

Acknowledgments: The authors thank Dr. Giovanni Costa for critical reading of the manuscript and helpful suggestions.

Grant Support: In part by grants from the Ministry of Education (MURST), Rome, Italy, and from the Health Regional Authorities of Regione Friuli-Venzia Giulia and Emilia-Romagna, Italy. Dr. Saccoccio was supported by a research fellowship from Banca Popolare Emilia-Romagna, and Dr. Masutti received a research fellowship from Fondazione Cassa Risparmio Trieste.

Requests for Reprints: Claudio Tiribelli, MD, Centro Studi Fegato, Department of Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Chemistry of Macromolecules, University of Trieste, Via Giorgieri 1, 34100 Trieste, Italy; e-mail, liver@fmc.univ.trieste.it. For reprint orders in quantities exceeding 100, please contact the Reprints Coordinator; phone, 215-351-2657; e-mail, reprints@mail.acponline.org.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Bellentani, Saccoccio, and Brandi: Fondo Studio Malattie del Fegato, Sezione di Modena, Via Wagner 12, 41000 Modena, Italy.

Drs. Masutti, Crocè, Sasso, Cristanini, and Tiribelli: Fondo Studio Malattie del Fegato, Via Donota 1, 34121 Trieste, Italy.

Author Contributions: Conception and design: S. Bellentani, G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, L.S. Crocè, G. Brandi, G. Cristanini, C. Tiribelli.

Analysis and interpretation of the data: S. Bellentani, L.S. Crocè, F. Sasso, C. Tiribelli.

Drafting of the article: S. Bellentani, C. Tiribelli.

Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, L.S. Crocè, G. Brandi, F. Sasso, G. Cristanini, C. Tiribelli.

Final approval of the article: S. Bellentani, G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, L.S. Crocè, G. Brandi, F. Sasso, G. Cristanini, C. Tiribelli.

Provision of study materials or patients: S. Bellentani, G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, G. Brandi, G. Cristanini.

Statistical expertise: S. Bellentani, L.S. Crocè, F. Sasso.

Obtaining of funding: S. Bellentani, C. Tiribelli.

Collection and assembly of data: S. Bellentani, G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, G. Brandi, F. Sasso, G. Cristanini, C. Tiribelli.

Ann Intern Med. 2000;132(2):112-117. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-132-2-200001180-00004
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Unexplained abnormalities on liver function tests are common and often perplexing. Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is a common clinical and histologic finding. When hepatic steatosis does not coexist with alcoholic hepatitis or steatohepatitis, it is a benign condition (12). Fatty liver is usually attributed to alcohol abuse. Although the hepatotoxicity of ethanol has been well established, only 8% to 20% of persons with chronic alcoholism develop cirrhosis (3). In the Dionysos Study, a survey of the prevalence of chronic liver disease in the general population that included 6917 participants (34), the risk threshold for ethanol-induced liver disease was the ingestion of more than 30 g of alcohol per day. However, only 74 of 1349 participants at risk (5.5%) showed persistent signs of alcoholic liver damage (4).

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Summary for Patients

Fatty Liver among Persons in a Community in Northern Italy

The summary below is from the full report titled “Prevalence of and Risk Factors for Hepatic Steatosis in Northern Italy.” It is in the 18 January 1999 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine (volume 131, pages 112-117). The authors are S. Bellentani, G. Saccoccio, F. Masutti, L.S. Crocè, G. Brandi, F. Sasso, G. Cristanini, and C. Tiribelli.


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