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Prevalence of metabolically related fatty liver disease is rising

2023 Jul 02, 18:59, Chicago [US]

According to a study presented at the Endocrine Society's annual meeting in Chicago, the percentage of adults suffering from metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), the leading cause of liver disease worldwide, is increasing.

The study discovered that Mexican Americans consistently had the highest percentage of MAFLD, particularly in 2018, despite the fact that the prevalence of increase was higher among Whites.

MAFLD, formerly known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is quickly becoming the most common reason for a liver transplant. It raises the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and a common form of liver cancer. MAFLD, if left untreated, can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.

"MAFLD affects Hispanics at a higher prevalence relative to Blacks and Whites. This racial/ethnic disparity is a public health concern," said researcher Theodore C. Friedman, M.D., PhD, Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science in Los Angeles, Calif, adding, "Overall, the increase in MAFLD is concerning, as this condition can lead to liver failure and cardiovascular diseases and has an important health disparity."

The researchers analysed data for 32,726 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988 to 2018. "We found that overall, both MAFLD and obesity increased with time, with the increase in MAFLD greater than the increase in obesity," Friedman said.

The study's first author Magda Shaheen, M.D., PhD, M.P.H., M.S., of Charles R. Drew University of Medicine & Science, said, "The prevalence of MAFLD increased faster than the prevalence of obesity, suggesting that the increase in the other risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension may also contribute to the increase in the prevalence of MAFLD."

Among Mexican Americans, the per cent of MAFLD was higher at all times than the overall population. "In summary, MAFLD is increasing with time and more efforts are needed to control this epidemic," Shaheen said.


Fatty Liver Obesity Health Research health study diabetesm Hypertension
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