Pas Trusted News – Metabolic-related fatty liver disease on the rise among US adults

The percentage of American adults with metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), the leading global cause of liver disease, is on the rise, according to a study presented Friday at ENDO 2023, the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in Chicago, Ill.

The study found that Mexican Americans consistently had the highest percentage of MAFLD, particularly in 2018, although the increased prevalence was higher among whites.

MAFLD, formerly known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), is rapidly becoming the most common indication for liver transplantation. It is a risk factor for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and a common type of liver cancer. If untreated, MAFLD can lead to liver cancer and liver failure.

“MAFLD affects Hispanics at a higher prevalence relative to blacks and whites. This racial/ethnic disparity is a public health concern,” said researcher Theodore C. Friedman, MD, PhD, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles, California. “Overall, an increase in MAFLD is of concern, as the condition can lead to liver failure and heart disease and has a significant health disparity.”

Researchers analyzed data from 32,726 participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 1988 to 2018. Friedman said.

The percentage of people with MAFLD increased from 16% in 1988 to 37% in 2018 (a 131% increase), while the percentage of people with obesity increased from 23% in 1988 to 40% in 2018 (a 74% increase). The prevalence of MAFLD increased faster than the prevalence of obesity, suggesting that increases in other risk factors such as diabetes and hypertension may also contribute to the increase in MAFLD prevalence.”

Magda Shahin, MD, PhD, MPH, MS, first author of the study, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science

Among Mexican Americans, the percentage of MAFLD was higher at all times than in the total population. The percentage increase in MAFLD in 2018 relative to 1988 was 133% among whites, 61% among Mexican Americans, and 56% among blacks.

“In short, MAFLD is increasing over time and more efforts are needed to control this epidemic,” Shaheen said.

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