As liver health advocates continue seeking opportunities to increase public awareness about liver diseases, the Global Liver Institute declared nonalcoholic steatohepatitis a “hidden epidemic” as they led this year’s International NASH Day.
“We feel an urgent need to raise awareness for and educate on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis so that these liver diseases are included in every health care conversation when obesity and diabetes are mentioned,” Donna R. Cryer, JD, president and CEO of the Global Liver Institute, said in a press release. “We are spearheading a global effort for adoption of non-invasive tests so that early detection and diagnosis of these diseases is easier, and we can begin to stem the tide of this global epidemic.”
According to the release, the Global Liver Institute has developed a complementary campaign called Beyond the Biopsy to accelerate acceptance and adoption of noninvasive technologies as an alternative to biopsy to increase the number of people able to be screened and diagnosed for fatty liver before they develop NASH.
Additionally, the NASH Education Program held a conference during International NASH Day to discuss the “looming national crisis” of disease rates along with the challenges in current practices for the diagnosis and management of high-risk populations.
During a presentation by Amon Asgharpour, MD, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, he revealed that 72% of surveyed patients were not aware that alcohol and viral infection are not the only causes of liver diseases and 51% still felt poorly informed about the consequences and clinical management of NAFLD after their diagnosis.
The survey also showed that 90% of surveyed physicians needed more medical information on emerging therapies and patient management strategies for NASH and 85% need relevant medical information to understand the disease and its parameters.
“It’s not just the patients, it’s the physicians who need more awareness — this is what we're hoping to do here today,” Asgharpour said during his presentation.
Read more recent reports on NASH awareness and current pipeline.
Asgharpour A. NASH, a looming public health crisis. Presented at: The NASH Education Program; June 12, 2019; New York.
Disclosure: Asgharpour reports he is on the advisory board for Gilead and has consulted for Expert Connect, Intercept and Sterotherapeutics.