According to a recent research, people with sedentary lifestyles and unhealthy sleep behaviors could develop fatty liver disease.

This type of liver disease is caused by metabolic disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Fatty liver disease may progress to end-stage liver disease, posing a major health and economic burden to society.

Fatty liver disease is the leading chronic liver disease worldwide, affecting about a quarter of the adult population.

People with poor nighttime sleep and prolonged daytime napping have the highest risk for developing fatty liver disease, according to new research published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

“Our study found a moderate improvement in sleep quality was related to a 29% reduction in the risk for fatty liver disease.” said Yan Liu, colleague of the Sun Yat-sen University.

The researchers analyzed self-reported sleep behaviors from 5,011 Chinese adults with fatty liver disease and found late bedtime, snoring and daytime napping for over 30 minutes were significantly associated with an increased risk of fatty liver disease.

“Our study provides evidence that even a moderate improvement in sleep quality is sufficient to reduce the risk for fatty liver disease, especially in those with unhealthy lifestyles,” Liu said. “Given that large proportions of subjects suffering from poor sleep quality are underdiagnosed and undertreated, our study calls for more research into this field and strategies to improve sleep quality.”