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J Hepatol. 2019 Mar;70(3):531-544. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.10.033. Epub 2018 Nov 9.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease - A global public health perspective.

Author information

1
Center for Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA; Betty and Guy Beatty Center for Integrated Research, Inova Health System, Falls Church, VA, USA. Electronic address: zobair.younossi@inova.org.

Abstract

As the epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus increase worldwide, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is increasing proportionately. The subtype of NAFLD which can be characterised as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a potentially progressive liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver transplantation, and death. NAFLD is also associated with extrahepatic manifestations such as chronic kidney disease, cardiovascular disease and sleep apnoea. NAFLD and NASH carry a large economic burden and create poor health-related quality of life. Despite this important burden, we are only beginning to understand its mechanisms of pathogenesis and the contribution of environmental and genetic factors to the risk of developing a progressive course of disease. Research is underway to identify appropriate non-invasive diagnostic methods and effective treatments. Although the risk of liver-related mortality is increased in patients with NAFLD and liver fibrosis stages F3 or F4, the leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease. Given the rapidly growing global burden of NAFLD and NASH, efforts must continue to find accurate non-invasive diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, to develop effective treatments for individuals with advanced NASH and prevention methods for individuals at high risk of NAFLD and progressive liver disease.

KEYWORDS:

Diabetes; Epidemiology; HRQoL; NAFLD; NASH; Obesity

PMID:
30414863
DOI:
10.1016/j.jhep.2018.10.033

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