The Epidemiology of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Global Perspective

Mariana Lazo, M.D., M.Sc.; Jeanne M. Clark, M.D., M.P.H.


Semin Liver Dis. 2008;28(4):339-350. 

In This Article

Disease Progression

Until relatively recently, NAFLD was considered a benign condition. However, an increasing number of studies has demonstrated that NAFLD can lead to long-term complications such as cryptogenic cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, as well as increased liver-related mortality.[134,135,136,137] Additionally, several studies conducted over the last decade have indicated that NAFLD is, by itself and concurrent with other liver disease, a risk factor for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[138,139,140,141,142,143] Thus, probably the most common outcome for a patient with NAFLD is progression not to cirrhosis, but to death from cardiovascular disease. A more in-depth review of the natural history of the disease as well as its long-term consequences can be found in this issue of Seminars of Liver Disease.


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