Nature Outlook |

Fatty liver disease

The worldwide increase in obesity and diabetes has led to a spike in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which often progresses to the more severe condition non-alcoholic steatohepatitis. This Outlook discusses topics such as the surge in drug development that is poised to deliver new treatments; how innovative technologies are enabling earlier diagnosis; and the disturbing rise of fatty liver disease in children.

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Features and comment

  • Nature | Outlook

    Biotechnology start-ups and pharmaceutical giants alike are charging ahead to develop therapies for the most serious form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

    • Liam Drew
  • Nature | Outlook

    Conventional detection of advanced fatty liver disease relies on biopsy. Less onerous methods may help to save lives.

    • Michael Eisenstein
  • Nature | Outlook

    Not everyone with a fatty liver goes on to develop more advanced disease. Understanding what triggers the progression could lead to better treatments.

    • Sarah DeWeerdt

Related research

  • Nature | Outline

    A progressive and potentially life-threatening condition previously associated with alcoholism is becoming more common — even in non-drinkers.

    • Liam Drew
  • Nature | Outline

    Increased levels of obesity are driving an epidemic of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Understanding, diagnosing and treating this progressive condition are now priorities.

    • Liam Drew
  • Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology | Review Article

    NAFLD is growing in prevalence worldwide, and has emerged as a leading cause of end-stage liver disease in many countries. In this Review, the authors describe the global epidemiology of NAFLD, discuss associated risk factors and outline challenges for screening and management.

    • Zobair Younossi
    • , Quentin M. Anstee
    • , Milena Marietti
    • , Timothy Hardy
    • , Linda Henry
    • , Mohammed Eslam
    • , Jacob George
    •  &  Elisabetta Bugianesi
  • Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology | News & Views

    In a new study, Younossi et al. poignantly depict the daunting and enormous prevalence of NAFLD and its associated clinical and economic burden in the USA and four countries in Europe. The astronomical health-care costs will increase as the prevalence of NAFLD increases. All stakeholders are called to action.

    • Manal F. Abdelmalek
  • Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology | News & Views

    A recent study reports that being overweight in late adolescence is associated with an increased risk of liver-related morbidity and mortality later in life. These findings give further strength to the concerns for the deleterious effects of childhood obesity on liver health. Early prevention by screening and lifestyle modification should be advised by health policies.

    • Milena Marietti
    •  &  Elisabetta Bugianesi
  • Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology | News & Views

    NAFLD, the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic syndrome, is a multifactorial condition — environmental factors influence an inherited genetic risk. Stender et al. now describe the additive effect of obesity and NAFLD-associated genetic polymorphisms on steatosis, elevated serum alanine aminotransferase levels and cirrhosis, remarkably illustrating the principle of gene–environment interactions.

    • Jake P. Mann
    •  &  Quentin M. Anstee

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