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Approved Research

Lipidomic profiles of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in relation to cardiovascular mortality: an exploratory factor analysis

Principal Investigator: Mr Luc Heerkens
Approved Research ID: 105796
Approval date: December 12th 2023

Lay summary

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is a leading cause of illness and death globally, and assessing risk typically involves looking at factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and unhealthy cholesterol levels. However, recent research has shown that looking at the connections between different molecules in the body, known as metabolites, can provide valuable insights into the underlying biological pathways that lead to CVD.

While much of this research has focused on healthy individuals, it is increasingly important to understand how metabolites are linked to CVD in patients who already have the disease, as more people are surviving with improved treatment and detection. One condition that has been linked to both CVD and altered metabolite levels is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is associated with increased risk of CVD mortality even in people without pre-existing heart disease.

To investigate these connections further, we plan to profile the metabolites in populations both with and without established CVD, using a variety of data sources including the UK Biobank and the Alpha Omega Cohort. We hope to identify underlying pathways that could help explain the links between NAFLD and CVD mortality, potentially leading to better prevention and treatment strategies in the future within 8 months from the start of the study.