Letters to Editor
Business & Trade
Culture & Science
Policy Making in Depth
News of This Week
Learning Chinese
Dangerous Price of Affluence: Fatty Liver

Shanghai’s increasing affluence has come at a price with local residents’ shift to richer diets and less physical exercise, leading to an increase in diseases generally associated with high standards of living.

A recent survey by Shanghai No. 2 Medical University, based on the annual physical examinations of more than 1,000 people from several companies, found that 12.9 percent of office workers suffer from a condition known as fatty liver.

Doctors said a patient suffers from the ailment when fat in the organ weighs 5 percent more than the rest of the liver. The disease is a sign of organ injury that can lead to permanent liver damage.

“Usually, there are no significant symptoms that are noticeable to the patient. The disease is frequently uncovered during routine physical examination involving ultrasound checks,” said Dr. Sheng Shuichun of No. 455 Hospital, which contributed to the survey.

Fatty liver, as the name suggests, is a build-up of fat in the liver cells. It can be a sign of more dangerous conditions.

“Fatty liver may be associated with or lead to inflammation of the liver. This can cause scarring and hardening of the liver. Extensive scarring is called cirrhosis, which is a very serious condition and can be fatal if much fluid, generated from liver damage, is found in the abdominal cavity,” Sheng said.

“In addition, fatty liver, though not serious by itself, does influence the functioning of the liver gradually,” said Dr. Jiao Donghai of Shanghai Xiangshan Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital, which specializes in obesity treatment.

Western statistics show that fatty liver can shorten the life of patients younger than 50 by four years, and shed 10 years from the longevity of patients older than 50.

Fatty liver stems from an unhealthy lifestyle involving diets high in sugar and fat, inadequate exercise and extensive consumption of alcohol, doctors said. Since white-collar workers enjoy a higher income, they are more likely to get fatty liver.

(eastday.com 01/12/2001)

The Diet of Computer Users
Snack Bag Gifts Pose Threat to Children
“Green” Lifestyle Tops Choices
People Turn to the Bottle for a Daily Fix of Vitamins
China’s Milk Is Safe and Healthy
Number of Shanghai Sleepless Rises
Steps Made to Ensure Food Safety
Food Quality Targeted
Most Consumers Favor “Healthy” Food
Beijing Launches Healthier Food Plan
Copyright China Internet Information Center. All Rights Reserved
E-mail: webmaster@china.org.cn Tel: 86-10-68996214/15/16