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Ann Hepatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;13(2):166-78.

The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the Americas.

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  • 1Liver Research Unit, Medica Sur Clinic & Foundation, Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 2Departamento de Salud Pública, Facultad de Medicina, UNAM. Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 3Departamento de Gastroenterología, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.


Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is an alarming public health problem. The disease is one of the main causes of chronic liver disease worldwide and is directly linked to the increased prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) in the general population. The worldwide prevalence of NAFLD has been estimated at 20-30%, but the prevalence is unknown in the Americas because of a lack of epidemiological studies. However, given the trends in the prevalence of diabetes and obesity, the prevalence of NAFLD and its consequences are expected to increase in the near future. The aim of the present study is to present the current data on the prevalence of NAFLD in the Americas. We performed an electronic search of the main databases from January 2000 to September 2013 and identified 356 reports that were reviewed. We focused on the epidemiology and prevalence of known NAFLD risk factors including obesity, T2DM, and the metabolic syndrome (MS). The prevalence of the MS was highest in the United States, Mexico, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Chile, and Venezuela. In addition, Puerto Rico, Guyana, and Mexico have the highest prevalence of T2DM in the Americas, while USA has the most people with T2DM. In conclusion, the prevalence rates of NAFLD and obesity were highest in the United States, Belize, Barbados, and Mexico.

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