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Does fatty liver disease run in families?

Fatty liver disease is one of three closely-related diseases (also cirrhosis and alcoholic hepatitis) which comprise alcoholic liver disease. Alcoholic liver disease overall is often seen among family members. The disease is associated with an inability of the body to process alcohol due to an insufficient supply of cytoplasmic enzymes, which results in fat accumulation in the liver. This lack of enzymes is believed to be genetic.

Fatty liver disease can run in families. Although obesity is a key risk factor for fatty liver disease, if you have a strong genetic history of fatty liver disease, you may be at risk for the condition even if you are normal weight. Hispanic people are also at increased risk for fatty liver disease.

Talk to your doctor about your family history and your concerns about increased risk of fatty liver disease. Your doctor may be able to suggest lifestyle habits to help minimize your risk of the disease and may monitor you closely to catch signs of disease if you develop them.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.