Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease associated with $103B in annual medical costs: 3 study insights

A study in Hepatology found that the prevalence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in the United States leads to direct medical costs of more than $100 billion each year.

The researchers constructed various models to estimate the economic burden of NAFLD in the United States and four European countries — Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. The models took age, incidence and remission into consideration.

Here's what you need to know:

1. In the United States, more than 64 million people are projected to have NAFLD. There is an estimated $1,613 annual direct medical cost per patient, totaling about $103 billion for the country.

2. In Germany, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, there are around 52 million people projected to have NAFLD. There is an estimated 354 euro to 1,163 euro annual direct medical cost per patient, totaling about 35 billion euros for the four countries.

3. The direct medical costs were highest for patients between the ages of 45 and 65.

The researchers concluded that the clinical and economic burdens associated with NAFLD "will likely increase as the incidence of NAFLD continues to rise."

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