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Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Global Public Health Issue

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Obesity and Diabetes

Abstract

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, with a worldwide prevalence of 25%. NAFLD represents a spectrum of liver disease severity from simple hepatic steatosis to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a potentially progressive liver condition with ongoing liver injury. It is strongly associated with obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, genetic factors, and lifestyle factors. However, the exact pathophysiology of NAFLD remains to be established. Moreover, the diagnosis of NASH also represents a major challenge. The reference standard in the diagnosis of NASH is considered liver biopsy. Due to its invasive nature, there is a major effort to optimize biochemical and imaging methods in terms of replacing liver biopsy. To date, a combination of noninvasive tests based on blood tests with imaging methods is recommended. Although there is no consensus about the pharmacological therapy of NASH, the international guidelines recommend achieving significant weight loss and lifestyle modification. In conclusion, the combination of high prevalence and its high burden warrant further research in that area.

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Kaya, E., Yilmaz, Y. (2020). Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Global Public Health Issue. In: Faintuch, J., Faintuch, S. (eds) Obesity and Diabetes. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-53370-0_24

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