A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism showed that a patient diagnosed with fatty liver found on an ultrasound exam strongly predicts the likelihood of developing diabetes type 2 in 5 years .

Over 11,000 patients were followed for 5 years . They compared patients with high insulin resistance with and without a fatty liver. Those who had a fatty liver were also found to have other risk factors like high triglyceride and glucose levels, lower HDL cholesterol, excess weight, and hypertension.

They found that even in otherwise healthy individuals, those with a fatty liver found on ultrasound is an independent risk factor for developing diabetes type 2 in 5 years.