Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in the Western Cape: A Descriptive Analysis (Original Articles) (Report)

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in the Western Cape: A Descriptive Analysis (Original Articles) (Report)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a complex disorder characterised by histological abnormalities identified on liver biopsy in patients who consume little or no alcohol but present with histological features similar to those seen in alcoholic liver disease. NAFLD is the most prevalent chronic liver disease in Western countries. In the USA the estimated prevalence is 17-33%. (1) Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is a subset of NAFLD. The estimated prevalence of NASH in the USA is 6-17%.1 NASH is not a benign liver disease–it may result in increased rates of cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, liver transplantation and death. (2) NASH increases in parallel with increases in obesity and sedentary lifestyle.3 The risk of developing cirrhosis from NASH is approximately 20% over 10 years. The National Institute of Health (NIH) in the USA found the highest rates of obesity among the least educated with the highest poverty rates. (4) This finding may be of relevance to the South African population, as the overall prevalence of overweight (body mass index (BMI) 25) and obesity (BMI 30) in South Africa is very high, with more than 29% of men and 56% of women being classified as overweight or obese. (5)

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in the Western Cape: A Descriptive Analysis (Original Articles) (Report)



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