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Fatty Liver Disease

  • Context (TH): June 13 is celebrated as Global Fatty Liver Day.
  • Theme, 2024: ‘Act Now, Screen Today’.
  • Fatty liver disease is a condition in which fat builds up in the liver. There are two main types:
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)
    • Alcoholic fatty liver disease, also called alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • In 2022, a meta-analysis revealed that in India, among adults, the pooled prevalence of fatty liver was 38.6%, while among obese children, it was around 36%.

Fatty liver disease - PMF IAS

Credit: Cleveland Clinic

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

  • Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is a type of steatosis that’s caused by factors other than excessive alcohol use.
  • Causes: It is part of the metabolic syndrome characterised by diabetes or pre-diabetes (insulin resistance), overweight or obesity, elevated blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides, and high blood pressure.
  • People with MASH may have scar tissue, which causes liver tissue to stiffen up. If the liver inflammation continues for years, an extensive amount of scar tissue can form, eventually leading to liver cirrhosis.
  • The global prevalence of MASLD is estimated at 25-30%.

Alcoholic fatty liver disease

  • Alcoholic fatty liver disease is due to heavy alcohol use.
  • The liver breaks down most of the alcohol generating harmful substances. These substances can damage liver cells, promote inflammation, and weaken the body’s natural defenses.
  • It further leads to alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis.
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