Increasing NASH case incidence rate could become public health issue

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease cases and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are both increasing at drastic levels in Canada and are expected to double over the next decade, according to a study published in CMAJ Open.

In 2019, there were 24,400 deaths from NASH, and the study predicts that number will double to 49,100 over the next decade.

Researchers associated with the Canadian NASH Network conducted the study and recommended actions to be taken to better understand the issue and work to divert the escalation.

University of Calgary gastroenterology division director Mark Swain, MD, said: "In the next 10 years, we expect the economic burden to treat NASH will be driven by patients progressing from fibrosis to the more serious condition of cirrhosis. We estimate the number of people with decompensated cirrhosis will double by 2030 and cases of liver cancer will increase by 80 percent. As a result, NASH-cirrhosis is estimated to soon become the number one indication for liver transplantation."

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