Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

What is Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)? Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common liver disease, affecting 20-30% of the global population. The prevalence is high in industrialized countries, especially in the Middle East and South America. Men are more likely to develop NAFLD, but women are more likely to have progressive NASH.

NAFLD is characterized by the deposition of triglycerides in hepatocytes that is not caused by excessive consumption of alcohol. 

There are two forms of NAFLD: 

  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) presents with hepatic steatosis without significant inflammation or progressive disease.
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) presents with hepatic steatosis and inflammation that causes progressive damage to the liver.

Risk Factors of NAFLD

  • Family history, especially in first-degree relatives
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes Mellitus Type 2 or insulin resistance
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Metabolic Syndrome

Source: Cotter, T. G., & Rinella, M. (2020). Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease 2020: The State of the Disease. Gastroenterology, 158(7), 1851–1864.