Health advocates say it’s time to develop more preventative measures to curb the increasing rate of fatty liver disease among U.S. Latinos
Why it matters: The myth that cirrhosis is a disease related to alcoholism, and the associated stigma, have contributed to less research, advocates tell Axios.
- Currently, there is no treatment for fatty liver disease other than diet and exercise. Health advocates say a significant health education campaign is needed to address fatty liver disease among Latinos.
By the numbers: Around 25% of U.S. adults, or 65 million people, have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Latinos have the highest rate.
- Studies show that fatty liver disease varies among U.S. Latinos, but Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants consistently had the highest rates.
Background: Fatty liver disease occurs when too much fat is stored in liver cells.
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease, especially in Western nations.
- Left untreated, it can develop into nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, an aggressive form of fatty liver disease, which may lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.