Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women
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Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is considered the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the Western countries. NAFLD includes a spectrum ranging from a simple steatosis to a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) which is defined by the presence of inflammatory infiltrate, cellular necrosis, hepatocyte ballooning, and fibrosis and cirrhosis that can eventually develop into hepatocellular carcinoma. Studies emphasize the role of insulin resistance, oxidative stress, pro-inflammatory cytokines, adipokines in the development and progression of NAFLD. It seems to be independently associated with type II diabetes mellitus, increased triglycerides, decreased HDL-cholesterol, abdominal obesity and insulin resistance. These findings are in accordance with the criteria used in the diagnosis of metabolic syndrome (MetS). Here, we will discuss the current knowledge on the epidemiology, pathophysiology and diagnosis of NAFLD and the association of metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.