HealthDay News — Women with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) have increased risks for maternal and neonatal complications, according to a study published online June 9 in the Journal of Hepatology.

Monika Sarkar, M.D., from the University of California in San Francisco, and colleagues examined temporal trends of NAFLD in pregnancies after 20 weeks of gestation and compared outcomes to those of pregnancies with other chronic liver diseases (CLD) or no CLD. Data were included for 18,574,225 pregnancies, of which 5,640 had NAFLD and 115,210 had other, non-NAFLD CLD.

The researchers found that from 2007 to 2015, pregnancies with NAFLD nearly tripled, from 10.5 to 28.9 per 100,000 pregnancies. Patients with NAFLD during pregnancy more often experienced gestational diabetes (23 versus 7 to 8 percent), postpartum hemorrhage (6 versus 3 to 5 percent), and preterm birth (9 versus 5 to 7 percent) compared with the other groups. NAFLD was associated with hypertensive complications, preterm birth, postpartum hemorrhage, and possibly maternal, but not fetal, death, in an adjusted analysis compared with no CLD.

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“These data support a critical need to recognize the public health implications of NAFLD in reproductive-aged women, and ensure that women with NAFLD receive adequate preconception counseling, including efforts to optimize metabolic health,” the authors write.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

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