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Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Aug 29. doi: 10.1038/s41575-018-0055-0. [Epub ahead of print]

The changing epidemiology of liver diseases in the Asia-Pacific region.

Author information

1
Institute of Digestive Disease, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
2
State Key Laboratory for Digestive Disease, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
3
J.C. School of Public Health and Primary Care, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
4
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong.
5
Storr Liver Centre, Westmead Millennium Institute and Westmead Hospital, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
6
Institute of Digestive Disease, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. siewchienng@cuhk.edu.hk.
7
State Key Laboratory for Digestive Disease, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. siewchienng@cuhk.edu.hk.
8
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Sha Tin, Hong Kong. siewchienng@cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

This Review presents current epidemiological trends of the most common liver diseases in Asia-Pacific countries. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) remains the primary cause of cirrhosis; despite declining prevalence in most Asian nations, this virus still poses a severe threat in some territories and regions. Mortality resulting from HBV infection is declining as a result of preventive measures and antiviral treatments. The epidemiological transition of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has varied in the region in the past few decades, but the medical burden of infection and the prevalence of its related cancers are increasing. The lack of licensed HCV vaccines highlights the need for novel treatment strategies. The prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has risen in the past decade, mostly owing to increasingly urbanized lifestyles and dietary changes. Alternative herbal medicine and dietary supplements are major causes of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) in some countries. Complications arising from these chronic liver diseases, including cirrhosis and liver cancer, are therefore emerging threats in the Asia-Pacific region. Key strategies to control these liver diseases include monitoring of at-risk populations, implementation of national guidelines and increasing public and physician awareness, in concert with improving access to health care.

PMID:
30158570
DOI:
10.1038/s41575-018-0055-0

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