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The Liver Meeting
November Fri, Nov 10, 2023 - Mon, Nov 14, 2023

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Increased Risk for NAFLD, MASLD to 34%
  For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Contact: 202.309.1596, media"at"aasld.org
New Study Projects Continued Rise in Most Common Liver Disease Liver doctors change how they talk about liver disease as cases climb
Boston (Nov. 7, 2023) - The most common form of chronic liver disease is expected to steadily rise over the next 25 years, adding significant burden to the medical system as a new model predicts nearly twice as many liver cancers and almost triple the need for liver transplantation by 2050, according to a study scheduled for presentation at The Liver Meeting, held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.
Rising rates of obesity and diabetes are blamed for the anticipated increase in prevalence of the disease currently known as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease or MASLD - a label that was recently updated by medical organizations around the world to reduce stigma associated with the previous name, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and to better describe common causes of the condition, which affects more than 30% of the global population.
"With diabetes and obesity rates on the rise, MASLD is expected to become the leading reason for liver transplants in the U.S.," said Phuc Le, PhD, MPH, assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and lead researcher on the study, which created a mathematical model that anticipated annual population trends and the incidence and progression of MASLD. Hepatitis C is currently the most common cause of liver disease, followed by damage caused by long-term alcohol use.
Le's model predicts a 23% rise in MASLD among adults in the U.S., affecting 27.8%. adults in 2020 and climbing to 34.3% by 2050. The most severe form of the disease is also expected to rise, resulting in nearly twice as many liver cancers each year, a jump from 10,400 new cancers a year in 2020 to an estimated 19,300 by 2050, and almost triple the need for liver transplants, from 1,700 cases in 2020 to 4,200 anticipated cases in 2050.
"Liver diseases often progress silently, with symptoms appearing only in advanced stages. Increased awareness is essential to maximize the opportunities to prevent liver complications," said AASLD President Norah Terrault, MD, MPH, FAASLD. "Early detection and timely interventions can make a difference - which is why AASLD is dedicated to equipping clinicians with the knowledge and skills needed to bring about improved health outcomes."
Phuc Le, PhD, will present the study, "Projection of the Clinical Burden of NAFLD (MASLD) in US Adults from 2020-2050: A Modeling Study," abstract 2245-A, on Saturday, Nov. 11, at 1 p.m. EDT.
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, November 7, 2023
Contact: 202.309.1596, media@aasld.org
Food Insecurity Associated with Liver Disease in Teens
Teens who eat low-cost, ultra-processed foods more likely to have liver damage
Boston (Nov. 7, 2023) - Teens from low-income families experiencing food insecurity are developing the most common form of liver disease twice as often as those who have easier access to food, likely because they rely on low-cost, ultra-processed foods, according to a study scheduled for presentation at The Liver Meeting, held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Participation in the food assistance program Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, seems to protect young people against liver disease.
"The association between food insecurity and MASLD is most likely the result of not being able to eat a balanced meal and more likely having to purchase low-cost food," said Zobair Younossi, MD, professor and chairman of the Beatty Liver and Obesity Research Program, Inova Health System, and lead author of the study. "Together, these factors may lead to a cycle of overeating along with the overconsumption of ultra-processed foods and sugar-sweetened food and beverages."
Researchers analyzed demographic, nutrition, physical activity and food insecurity data for 771 teens in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2017 to 2018. Nearly 19% of the adolescents who were identified as food insecure had a condition known as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD), previously known as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), almost double the rate for those not experiencing food insecurity. Food-insecure teens also had higher rates of advanced liver disease at 2.8% compared to 0.3% adolescents with fewer concerns about access to food.
Almost all adolescents identified as food insecure (98.9%) said they relied on low-cost food or couldn't get a balanced meal, while over half said they did not eat enough food.
The analysis found there were no differences in metabolic disease such as obesity and type 2 diabetes according to food insecurity, though these factors were independently associated with MASLD, the most common form of liver disease in the United States. MASLD is the buildup of fat in the liver.
"Our findings suggest that more needs to be done to make sure all those who qualify and are eligible for SNAP are obtaining their benefits," Younossi said. "SNAP may be an interventional tool to help improve the diets of adolescents. However, work must continue to remove the systemic and structural barriers to allow better accessibility to the SNAP program as well as to provide more physical activity in school and in after-school programs."
James Paik, PhD, will present the study, "Food Insecurity and Household Income Substantially Increase the Risk of NAFLD Among Adolescent Children in the United States," abstract 176, on Sunday, Nov. 12, at 11 a.m. EDT.
About The Liver Meeting
The Liver Meeting brings together clinicians, associates and scientists from around the world to exchange information on the latest research, discuss new developments in liver treatment and transplantation, and network with leading experts in the field of hepatology.
AASLD is the leading organization of scientists and health care professionals committed to preventing and curing liver disease. We foster research that leads to improved treatment options for millions of liver disease patients. We advance the science and practice of hepatology through educational conferences, training programs, professional publications and partnerships with government agencies and sister societies.