1Outpatient Liver Clinic and Division of Internal Medicine, Department of Biomedical, Metabolic and Neural Sciences, NOCSAE, Baggiovara, Azienda USL and University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.
2Department of Clinical and Molecular Hepatology, Institute of Medical Research A Lanari-IDIM, University of Buenos Aires-National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
3Department of Molecular Genetics and Biology of Complex Diseases, Institute of Medical Research A Lanari-IDIM, University of Buenos Aires-National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.
4Section of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, University and Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Integrata of Verona, Verona, Italy. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has become the leading cause of chronic liver diseases worldwide, causing considerable liver-related mortality and morbidity. During the past decade, it has also become increasingly evident that NAFLD is a multisystem disease that affects many extra-hepatic organ systems, including the heart and the vascular system. In this updated clinical review, we discuss the rapidly expanding body of clinical and epidemiological evidence that supports a strong association of NAFLD with cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) and other functional and structural myocardial abnormalities. We also discuss some recently published data that correlate NAFLD due to specific genetic polymorphisms with the risk of CVDs. Finally, we briefly examine the assessment tools for estimating the global CVD risk in patients with NAFLD as well as the conventional and the more innovative pharmacological approaches for the treatment of CVD risk in this group of patients.