Dr Newton and colleagues from the United Kingdom quantified fatigue in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease to determine whether perceived fatigue reflects impairment of physical function, and explored potential causes.
The team assessed 2 cohorts of 156 consecutive patients with histologically proven non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
|There was a significant association between fatigue severity and daytime somnolence|
The first phase of the study determined the perceived fatigue experienced by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients.
The researchers compared the experiences of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease with normal and liver disease controls.
The researchers also evaluated the relationship of perceived fatigue to physical function.
During the second phase, biological associations of fatigue in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease were explored.
The researchers found fatigue was markedly higher in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients than in controls.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients showed significantly lower physical activity over 6 days.
The team noted a significant inverse correlation between Fatigue Impact Scale and physical activity.
Fatigue experienced by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients was similar to that in primary biliary cirrhosis.
The research team observed no association between Fatigue Impact Scale and biochemical and histological markers of liver disease severity or insulin resistance.
The team found a significant association between fatigue severity and daytime somnolence.
Dr Newton's team concluded, "Fatigue is a significant problem in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, is similar in degree to that in primary biliary cirrhosis patients, and is associated with impairment in physical function."
"Fatigue in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease appears to be unrelated to either severity of underlying liver disease or insulin resistance, but is associated with significant daytime somnolence."