Monday, July 24, 2017

Flashback 2009: Fatty Liver Disease Rising in Young People

Flashback 2009. Hopkins Medicine reports:
Not long ago, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease was the near-exclusive province of older adults. Today, it’s also occurring among young people and children in the United States.

Considering that the single greatest risk factor is obesity, says hepatologist Zhiping Li, “we shouldn’t be too surprised by this trend since we’re seeing more young people becoming overweight and obese.”

This “growing” trend may not be cause for surprise, but it’s clearly cause for concern, Li says. Affecting about 29 million Americans—not counting the kids—nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common cause of chronic liver disease. And, between 10 percent and 15 percent of those cases will progress to cirrhosis and liver failure.

Adding to the challenge, Li says, is the fact that diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is frequently accidental. He now recommends that all people who have risk factors be tested, whether by routine liver function test, ultrasound or CT scan, or ultimately liver biopsy, which remains the gold standard.
An article worth your time.