CUTTACK: There is a high prevalence of Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in Odisha which has now a matter of concern for gastroenterologists in the State.In the disease, excess fat accumulates in the liver even though the patient does not have a history of significant alcohol intake. This is the commonest liver disease and a major public health problem globally, which includes a spectrum of liver disorders ranging from fatty liver to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) where inflammation of the liver occurs due to addition to excess fat. NASH may result in fibrosis or cirrhosis of liver or even liver cancer.
A study conducted recently by Kalinga Gastroenterology Foundation (KGF) has revealed that one in every three persons in Odisha has NAFLD and one in six has NASH.A study conducted 15 years ago had reflected that at least one fourth of the population in the State had fatty liver disease and one fourth of these patients had developed NASH. The prevalence has gone up in the recent times, said Gastroenterologist and KGF chairman Shivaram Prasad Singh terming it as a very common disease.
“The increasing figures are a cause of worry as it means that one in six persons in the State are at a risk of developing advanced liver diseases,” said Singh, who is also chairman of Indian National Association for Study on Liver. He was speaking on the occasion of International NASH Day, observed for the first time this year on Tuesday to spread awareness among people on fatty liver.
The study, which was conducted initially on 600 odd patients, has now increased its sample database to 3,500. Those detected with fatty liver were predominantly middle aged males. A majority of them were heavy and were already suffering from some bowel problems.