Next Article in Journal
Nanoemulsions of Essential Oils: New Tool for Control of Vector-Borne Diseases and In Vitro Effects on Some Parasitic Agents
Previous Article in Journal
Ultra-Low-Level Laser Therapy and Acupuncture Libralux: What Is so Special?
Article Menu
Issue 1 (March) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessReview

The Epidemiology, Risk Profiling and Diagnostic Challenges of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

1
Department of Medicine, Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Danville, PA 17822, USA
2
Department of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA 19129, USA
3
Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
4
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(1), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicines6010041
Received: 18 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Potential Treatment Targets for Non-alcoholic Liver Disease)
  |  
PDF [486 KB, uploaded 18 March 2019]
  |  

Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a wide spectrum of liver damage from the more prevalent (75%–80%) and nonprogressive nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) category to its less common and more ominous subset, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). NAFLD is now the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the developed world and is a leading indication for liver transplantation in United States (US). The global prevalence of NAFLD is estimated to be 25%, with the lowest prevalence in Africa (13.5%) and highest in the Middle East (31.8%) and South America (30.4%). The increasing incidence of NAFLD has been associated with the global obesity epidemic and manifestation of metabolic complications, including hypertension, diabetes, and dyslipidemia. The rapidly rising healthcare and economic burdens of NAFLD warrant institution of preventative and treatment measures in the high-risk sub-populations in an effort to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with NAFLD. Genetic, demographic, clinical, and environmental factors may play a role in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. While NAFLD has been linked with various genetic variants, including PNPLA-3, TM6SF2, and FDFT1, environmental factors may predispose individuals to NAFLD as well. NAFLD is more common in older age groups and in men. With regards to ethnicity, in the US, Hispanics have the highest prevalence of NAFLD, followed by Caucasians and then African-Americans. NAFLD is frequently associated with the components of metabolic syndrome, such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Several studies have shown that the adoption of a healthy lifestyle, weight loss, and pro-active management of individual components of metabolic syndrome can help to prevent, retard or reverse NAFLD-related liver damage. Independently, NAFLD increases the risk of premature cardiovascular disease and associated mortality. For this reason, a case can be made for screening of NAFLD to facilitate early diagnosis and to prevent the hepatic and extra-hepatic complications in high risk sub-populations with morbid obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic risk factors. View Full-Text
Keywords: nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; NAFLD; NASH; liver biopsy nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; NAFLD; NASH; liver biopsy
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Iqbal, U.; Perumpail, B.J.; Akhtar, D.; Kim, D.; Ahmed, A. The Epidemiology, Risk Profiling and Diagnostic Challenges of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Medicines 2019, 6, 41.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Medicines EISSN 2305-6320 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top