You’ve heard of diabetes, and you’ve probably heard of cirrhosis too… but have you heard of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH)? Even if you have heard of it, you may not have seen it: there are little to no symptoms, and was first identified relatively recently, in 1980, as the “unnamed disease”.For such a discreet disease, many are shocked to hear that it is nearly as prevalent as diabetes, and it is rapidly on the rise.
NASH falls under the umbrella category of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, or NAFLD. NAFLD is the buildup of excess fat in the liver due to causes other than alcohol consumption, and is the most prevalent liver disease around the globe. In the general population, the prevalence of NAFLD is around 34%, a little over a third of those patients progress to NASH.It is estimated that the prevalence of NASH in the general population will have increased 63% from 2015 to 2030. The most common risk factors for NASH are obesity, insulin resistance, hypertriglyceridemia and hyperlipidemia, high blood pressure, and metabolic syndrome.
Because of its lack of symptoms, NASH can be very hard to diagnose in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it can progress to cirrhosis and end-stage liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma. Once this point is reached, the only course of treatment is often a liver transplant – a highly invasive, somewhat risky, and expensive procedure. NASH is now the leading cause of liver transplantation for women in the US and is expected to soon be the number one cause of transplant in men.
The good news? NAFLD can be treated by weight loss, exercise, and overall improvement of cardio-metabolic health. Early detection and intervention in NASH can slow progression of fibrosis and hopefully prevent the need for a liver transplant while simultaneously improving other comorbid health conditions, such as obesity and high blood pressure. There are currently multiple drugs in late stage clinical trials for the treatment of NASH.
Rimidi Can Help
Rimidi’s NAFLD/NASH platform helps identify at risk patients, ensure they receive the indicated screenings, and present guideline-based treatment options to optimize patient outcomes. We need to catch NAFLD and NASH early on, far before a liver transplant is the last resort.
Learn more about Rimidi’s platform for NAFLD/NASH management here.