Latinos are especially susceptible to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the country’s most common liver disease. Although factors that lead to NAFLD (including obesity, diabetes, and poor diet) are more common in Latino populations, it’s not clear how they contribute to Latinos’ high risk for developing the disease.
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Robert Kaplan, Ph.D., Robert Burk, M.D., and Jorge Kizer, M.D., a three-year, $2.1 million grant to better understand the roles that diet and metabolism may play in causing NAFLD in Latinos. The researchers will examine host- and bacteria-produced gut metabolites in a study sample of more than 16,000 adult Latinos; they will also use state-of-the-art imaging to detect early, pre-NAFLD fat buildup (steatosis) as well as late-stage liver scarring (fibrosis) from the disease. The research may reveal dietary and metabolite features for predicting NAFLD risk as well as strategies for preventing the disease.
Dr. Kaplan is professor of epidemiology & population health and the Dorothy and William Manealoff Foundation and Molly Rosen Chair in Social Medicine at Einstein. Dr. Burk is professor of pediatrics, of microbiology & immunology, of epidemiology & population health, and of obstetrics & gynecology and women’s health at Einstein and is also a member of the National Cancer Institute-designated Montefiore Einstein Comprehensive Cancer Center (MECCC). Dr. Kizer is an adjunct clinical associate professor of epidemiology & population health and director of clinical cardiovascular research at Einstein and is a professor at the University of California San Francisco. (R01DK134672)
Posted on: Thursday, October 05, 2023