Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) in South Asia

Anne Thushara Matthias, Suranjith L. Seneviratne

Abstract


Background

Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is highly prevalent in the developed world. The prevalence has been increasing over the past few decades in parallel with an increase in the metabolic syndrome. South Asia hosts some of the most populated cities in the world and recent studies suggest the prevalence of NAFLD in some of these areas to be comparable to the western world. Earlier diagnosis should prompt life style modifications and the use of appropriate medications to prevent progression to hepatic fibrosis

Methods

All published articles in the MEDLINE database on NAFLD in South Asia were included. The important findings were summarized and critically analysed.

Results

NAFLD in South Asia is associated with obesity and insulin resistance. ‘Lean NAFLD’ is a new entity that describes low body mass index (BMI) individuals who develop NAFLD. Diagnosis of NAFLD is mainly using ultrasound scanning and Thromboelastography. The proven modalities of treatment include life style modifications and pharmacological agents.

Conclusion

NAFLD is an emerging problem in South Asia. Our review summarizes the key findings of studies on NAFLD from South Asia and discusses the important healthcare care delivery implications of these findings. Further studies on clinical manifestations, pathogenesis and disease progression of NAFLD in South Asia are needed to better manage this condition.


Keywords


NAFLD, NASH, liver disease, Asia, South Asia, India, Pakistan, Sri lanka

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