New data show non-alcoholic fatty liver disease will reach epidemic status in the US

Apr 02, 2011

According to new data presented today at the International Liver Congress, the United States (U.S.) could soon be faced with an epidemic of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD)1, one of the major contributing factors of chronic liver disease (CLD), considered as one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide. The study highlights that if the current rates of obesity and diabetes continue for another two decades, the prevalence of NAFLD in the US is expected to increase by 50% in 2030.

The study analysed pre-existing clinical survey data over a 10 year period (1988-1994, 1999-2004 and 2005-2008), which included 39,500 adults from three survey cycles. Over the three cycles the prevalence of NAFLD doubled from 5.51% to 11.0% respectively. Furthermore, during the first survey cycle (1988-1994) 46.8% of all CLD's was related to NAFLD but by 2005-2008 this had increased to 75.1%. In addition, the prevalence of and diabetes, the two key risk factors for NAFLD also steadily increased.

Mark Thursz EASL's Vice Secretary commented: "Non-alcoholic is fast becoming one of the top concerns for clinicians due to the and it's potential to progress to advanced liver disease which significantly impacts on overall liver-related mortality. This data highlights a serious concern for the future, and the enormous increasing health burden of NAFLD. If the obesity epidemic is anything to go by, the U.S. NAFLD epidemic may have a ripple effect worldwide. It is imperative that health systems continue to drive effective educational programmes to reinforce awareness among the general public to alert them of the risks of obesity and promote the importance of diet and exercise".

NAFLD is the term used to describe fat build-up in in people who do not drink alcohol excessively and is the most common persistent liver disorder in Western countries with an estimated overall prevalence of 20-30%.2

NAFLD encompasses a spectrum of liver disease associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity and as such people most at risk of NAFLD are those who are obese, have insulin resistance associated with diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.3

Explore further: West Africa's Ebola outbreak prompts changes in I.Coast cuisine

More information: References

1. Younossi Z et al., The Changing Face of Chronic Liver Disease (CLD) in the United States: The Rising Epidemic of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Presented at The International Liver Congress 2011. www1.easl.eu/easl2011/program/Orals/204.htm

2. Understanding and Preventing the Progression of Liver Disease in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). Fatty Liver Inhibition of Progression (FLIP) www.flip-fp7.eu/ . Accessed March 2011.

3. Fatty Liver. Patient UK. Available at www.patient.co.uk/doctor/Steatohepatitis-and-Steatosis-(Fatty-Liver).htm . Accessed March 2011.

Provided by European Association for the Study of the Liver

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

A Modest Glass of Wine Each Day Could Improve Liver Health

May 21, 2008

Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine are challenging conventional thinking with a study showing that modest wine consumption, defined as one glass a day, may not only be safe for the liver, but may actually decrease ...

Recommended for you

Two expats die of MERS in Saudi commercial hub

16 hours ago

Two foreigners died of MERS in the Saudi city of Jeddah, the health ministry said Saturday, as fears rise over the spreading respiratory virus in the kingdom's commercial hub.

UAE reports 12 new cases of MERS

16 hours ago

Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have announced 12 new cases of infection by the MERS coronavirus, but insisted the patients would be cured within two weeks.

Filipino tests negative for Middle East virus

Apr 19, 2014

A Filipino nurse who tested positive for the Middle East virus has been found free of infection in a subsequent examination after he returned home, Philippine health officials said Saturday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...

Making graphene in your kitchen

Graphene has been touted as a wonder material—the world's thinnest substance, but super-strong. Now scientists say it is so easy to make you could produce some in your kitchen.