CHENNAI: Apollo Hospitals Enterprise Limited on Sunday held a conference to enlighten doctors, physicians and the general public on the significance of increasing prevalence of non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and the worrying fact that the presence of metabolic syndrome and steatohepatitis (NASH) in these patients can trigger serious complications.
About 30% of our population is at risk of developing fatty liver disease. Those who develop NASH (approx. 25% of fatty liver patients) have increased possibility of suffering from progressive liver disease, cirrhosis and liver failure, apart from increased risk of cardiac diseases.
While there is general awareness on fatty liver, experts have voiced out concern on the lack of awareness of its complications. Those with NASH and the “metabolic syndrome” – a combination of sugar abnormalities, hypertension, central obesity, high levels of triglycerides and low HDL - can lead to serious complications that can be treated if diagnosed at an early stage.
Dr N Murugan, Consultant Hepatologist at Apollo Hospitals said, “People are of the opinion that fatty liver is just another common ailment that doesn’t need much intervention. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Up to 25% of those with fatty liver have a condition called NASH, that can progress to serious liver damage. In fact around 1/4th of liver transplant patients are those who suffer from non alcoholic fatty liver disease, including many women.The conference also educated the doctors on various diagnostic procedures for NASH and current and future treatment trends.