A new study has released new data which indicates that the prevalence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) among UK adults could be as high as 12%. NASH is a progressive form of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) which is now considered to be one of the major causes of cirrhosis of the liver. Dame Sally Davies, UK Chief Medical Officer, has previously warned of the impact the growing prevalence of fatty liver disease will have on the nation’s health, and its impact on NHS resources.
The data, presented at The International Liver Congress in Paris, came from an analysis of UK Biobank, the world’s largest database of health information. Perspectum Diagnostics used their LiverMultiScan technology to analyse quantitative MRI data from 2,895 UK Biobank participants to calculate the overall percentage of people in the database who are expected to have NASH. Their projected figure of 12% suggests the number of people with undiagnosed NASH could be significantly higher than the 2-3% previously estimated.
Currently most people with NASH are diagnosed using a liver biopsy. This only occurs when the disease has progressed and they are showing symptoms. Perspectum’s Multi-scan technology has the potential to enable doctors to diagnose this disease earlier using a less invasive test.