Increased Education and Early Detection of Fatty Liver Disease
June 10, 2019
WALTHAM, Mass. & PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In recognition of International NASH Day, June 12, 2019, leading stakeholders in preventing liver disease call for increased vigilance regarding early detection of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its sub type non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), a potentially progressive liver disease that can lead to cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), liver cancer, liver transplantation and death. A day of action to raise awareness about NASH and fatty liver disease – recognized as a national and international epidemic that impacts millions worldwide – this observance brings together thought-leaders and patient advocacy groups to provide education about this serious, yet little-known disease.
Tom Nealon, CEO at the American Liver Foundation (ALF), the nation’s largest patient advocacy organization for people with liver disease, explains, “NAFLD is a condition in which excess fat is stored in the liver, but it is not associated with heavy alcohol use. We are alarmed about the epidemic of NAFLD since it is a recognized risk factor for liver scarring and liver cancer. Advancing liver disease from NAFLD and NASH may become the number one reason for liver transplants as early as 2020 in the U.S. While its prevalence continues to accelerate worldwide with the obesity epidemic, we are committed to addressing this serious lapse in awareness and education.”
Researchers have found NAFLD in 70 percent of people who have type 2 diabetes, as well as those who are obese. While most people living with NAFLD will not progress to end stage liver disease, they are at a higher risk of cardiovascular mortality and morbidity than those without NAFLD. While there are therapeutic treatments in development, the best way to reduce the risk of advancing liver disease remains lifestyle modification – healthy eating and increased exercise.
Laurent Sandrin, Ph.D., co-founder, Echosens, an innovative high-technology company offering the FibroScan family of products, states, “Given the rapidly growing global burden of NASH, the role of FibroScan for measuring liver fat is critical. The epidemics of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus increase worldwide, with HCC now the third-leading cause of cancer death worldwide.”
Dr. Sandrin continues, “NAFLD-associated HCC carries a high mortality burden and is poised to become a major contributor to HCC in the United States; it’s important to understand the disease prevalence, critical interventions and the increasingly beneficial role of FibroScan as a tool for measuring and monitoring liver fat and stiffness.”
Douglas Dieterich, M.D., Director of the Institute for Liver Medicine, Mount Sinai Health System, in collaboration with NASHNET, a global Centers of Excellence Network represented by leading healthcare systems in collaboration with The Kinetix Group, states, “This is an important day for people throughout the world who are working to promote collaboration, innovation, best practice sharing, and the development of real-world evidence to create standardization and systematization of care models that address major NAFLD/NASH gaps. This includes patient identification and stratification, referrals and intervention methodologies, care coordination processes, and patient and provider education from primary care through hepatology.”
NASHNET, a Kinetix Group-led network founded in 2017, aims to improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) care delivery by promoting collaboration, innovation, best practice sharing, and the development of real-world evidence across leading delivery systems. NASHNET aims to create standardization and systematization of care models that address major NAFLD/NASH gaps including patient identification and stratification, referrals and intervention methodologies, care coordination processes, and patient and provider education from primary care through hepatology.