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Approved Research

Metabolic health status, target organ damage and cardiovascular events

Principal Investigator: Dr Felix Buder
Approved Research ID: 95926
Approval date: February 22nd 2023

Lay summary

The overall aim of this research project is to provide a better understanding on the association of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), metabolic health status and cardiovascular disease (CVD). Globally, NAFDL affects as many as one in three adults. A close link between obesity, diabetes mellitus, NAFLD and CVD is well known. Yet, 15% of non-obese individuals are also affected by NAFDL and its relation to cardiovascular disease unclear. This research project is intended to provide pathophysiological insights on the relationship between NAFLD and CVD, which in the long term should allow for better targeting of preventive measures and treatment options. To this aim, genetic data as well as morphological data on liver fat content and target organ damage will be used to gain a new understanding of metabolic health status and its relationship to CVD.  To better characterize target organ damage related to NAFLD and metabolic health status, we will include optical coherence tomography (OCT) of the retina as well as cardiovascular imaging data such as cardiac MRI, arterial stiffness, echocardiography, and brain MRI. Given the rising significance of the obesity epidemic, we believe our planned research work is of significant interest for public health, health care professionals and policy makers. The project is scheduled to be completed within 3 years. Our results have the potential to provide new insights on the effect of metabolic health status on CVD and target organ damage.