Fatty Liver Program

Leading-edge cardiovascular care for patients with established or suspected fatty liver disease


Fatty liver, or hepatic steatosis, is an accumulation of fat in the liver that can lead to inflammation. It is often found in those who abuse alcohol, but other reasons can cause people to develop the disease.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common cause of liver disease in the United States. Approximately 34% of adults have it now, and experts believe it will be the leading cause for liver transplants by 2020.

What does fatty liver disease have to do with my heart?

Fatty liver disease significantly increases your risk for coronary disease. A study1 led by Saint Luke’s Liver Specialists and Cardiologists discovered a compelling association between NAFLD and high risk for cardiovascular disease.

In fact, heart disease has been found to be a leading cause of death for people with NAFLD.

What are the risk factors?

Risks for fatty liver disease are similar to those for heart disease:

  • A diet high in sugar, grains, and carbohydrates
  • Being overweight or obese
  • High cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Insulin resistance or Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Many patients with fatty liver disease also have Metabolic Syndrome – increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, cholesterol, and excess body fat around the waist – which puts them at a higher risk for stroke and heart disease.

How can the Cardio Health & Wellness Center help?

We offer a comprehensive assessment of risk factors, diagnosis, and individualized treatment plans.

The assessment includes:

  • Blood work for cholesterol and liver function
  • Fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C for diabetes management
  • Blood pressure and heart rate
  • Weight and waist circumference

Treatment includes diet changes, weight management, exercise, managing cholesterol, and pre-diabetes or diabetes, and any necessary medications. Our team will follow-up with you regularly to assess and maintain your progress and response to therapies.

To schedule an appointment call 816-751-8327.

For further information on the Saint Luke’s Liver Program, click here.

1. Chhabra R, O’Keefe JH, Patil H, O’Keefe E, Thompson RC, Ansari S, Kennedy KF, Lee LW, Helzberg JH: Association of coronary artery calcification with hepatic steatosis in asymptomatic individuals. Mayo Clin Proc. 88(11):1259-1265. 2013 Nov.