Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and potential links to depression, anxiety, and chronic stress

Sue Shea, Christos Lionis, Chris Kite, Lou Atkinson, Surinderjeet S. Chaggar, Harpal S. Randeva, Ioannis Kyrou

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    30 Citations (Scopus)
    68 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) constitutes the most common liver disease worldwide, and is frequently linked to the metabolic syndrome. The latter represents a clustering of related cardio-metabolic components, which are often observed in patients with NAFLD and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, growing evidence suggests a positive association between metabolic syndrome and certain mental health problems (e.g., depression, anxiety, and chronic stress). Given the strong overlap between metabolic syndrome and NAFLD, and the common underlying mechanisms that link the two conditions, it is probable that potentially bidirectional associations are also present between NAFLD and mental health comorbidity. The identification of such links is worthy of further investigation, as this can inform more targeted interventions for patients with NAFLD. Therefore, the present review discusses published evidence in relation to associations of depression, anxiety, stress, and impaired health-related quality of life with NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. Attention is also drawn to the complex nature of affective disorders and potential overlapping symptoms between such conditions and NAFLD, while a focus is also placed on the postulated mechanisms mediating associations between mental health and both NAFLD and metabolic syndrome. Relevant gaps/weaknesses of the available literature are also highlighted, together with future research directions that need to be further explored.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1697
    Number of pages25
    JournalBiomedicines
    Volume9
    Issue number11
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2021

    Bibliographical note

    This article is an open access article distributed under the terms andconditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY)

    Keywords

    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Health related quality of life
    • Insulin resistance
    • Metabolic syndrome
    • NAFLD
    • NASH
    • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
    • Obesity
    • Stress

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine (miscellaneous)
    • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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