The most common liver disease worldwide, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is increasing in prevalence and is currently estimated to affect approximately one-quarter of the general population. A recent study published in the journal Hepatology reveals the clinical and economic burden of NAFLD in the United States and Europe. The findings will help clinicians and policy makers develop strategies to deal with this serious chronic disease. NAFLD, which is characterized by the build up of extra fat in liver cells, is associated with obesity and diabetes, and it occurs with minimal or no symptom until the disease is advanced. When Zobair Younossi, MD, MPH, of Inova Fairfax Hospital in Virginia, and his colleagues constructed models to assess the potential burden of NAFLD, they estimated that there are 64 million individuals with the disease in the United States and 52 million in the four European countries examined (Germany, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom). Annual direct medical costs were estimated to be approximately $103 billion ($1163 per patient) in the United States and € 35 billion (from € 354 to € 1163 per patient) in the four European countries. The economic burden of NAFLD would be even higher when including societal costs and indirect costs. "Given the growing epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and NAFLD, this study brings to the attention of policymakers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, payers, and patients the critical importance of understanding NAFLD and establishing a policy for prevention, early detection, and effective therapy," said Dr. Younossi. "This requires a multi-faceted national and possibly international policy to deal with this common, debilitating, and expensive liver disease." Source: Eurekalert << Barriers to Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery Persist In Low- To... New Cure for Cancer are Coming Out but can All Patients Ava... >> Recommended Reading Indian Scientists Closer to Treating Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease A new mechanism through which the liver hoards up extra fat from sources other than alcohol has been discovered by Indian researchers. READ MORE Obstructive Sleep Apnea Worsens Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease In Obese Adolescents Obesity-related obstructive sleep apnea and intermittent nocturnal hypoxia are associated with progression of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. READ MORE Non-invasive Tool to Screen Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease Framingham Steatosis Index considers factors like age, gender, hypertension, triglyceride levels, diabetes, the ratio of liver enzymes to diagnose NAFLD. READ MORE Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease may Increase Heart Disease A patient suffering from fatty liver disease is prone to an increased risk of heart disease as well as the mortality rates associated with it, a new study has found. READ MORE Alcoholic Liver Disease Encyclopedia section of medindia gives general information about Alcoholic Liver Disease. READ MORE Biliary Cirrhosis Biliary cirrhosis occurs due to obstruction to the flow of bile through bile ducts either within the liver or outside the liver. READ MORE Current Treatments for Liver Cancer Current Treatments for Liver Cancer (also known as hepatoma or hepatocellular carcinoma) can result in complete cure of the disease if it is detected early. READ MORE Fatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in India Non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the leading cause of liver dysfunction worldwide and is a rapidly growing health problem in India. READ MORE Hepatitis A Hepatitis A is the most benign of the hepatitis viruses and usually has no long term side effects. Hepatitis A vaccine is available that is 95% effective in preventing the disease. READ MORE Living Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks? The risk of dying as a result of a living donor liver segment removal is between 0.2-2.0%. The risk of morbidity is anywhere between 1.3% (in highly experienced centers) to 60%. READ MORE Milk Thistle Milk Thistle is a resourceful natural plant which has many medicinal benefits. In herbal medication milk thistle is used in cases of liver diseases. READ MORE Wilson's Disease This is a rare inherited systemic disorder of copper metabolism, affecting the liver mainly before other organs. READ MORE Most Popular on Medindia Color Blindness Calculator Noscaphene (Noscapine) Find a Doctor More News on: Alcoholic Liver DiseaseLiver BiopsyHepatitis ALiverWilson's DiseaseBiliary CirrhosisMilk ThistleCurrent Treatments for Liver CancerFatty Liver Disease: A Growing Health Problem in IndiaLiving Donor Liver Transplant: What Are the Risks?