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Every second Chandigarh resident has fatty liver: PGI study

Chandigarh : A whopping 53 per cent of the population in Chandigarh (every second person) is suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), states a study of the PGI.
Dr Ajay Duseja, Professor in the Department of Hepatology, PGI, said a sedentary lifestyle was the lead cause of overweight and obesity and excess fat accumulation in the body. The fat got re-distributed to other organs with liver being the favourite site, leading to a fatty liver.
A majority of them are at a risk of suffering from non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), said experts.
NASH is a severe form of fatty liver, which occurs in around 15 to 20 per cent of the patients who have the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, said Duseja.
“NASH is a progressive disease, which can damage the liver by causing liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and will soon become the most common indication for liver transplant. In fact, NASH is the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer”, said Dr Duseja.
His observation came a day before the first-ever International NASH Day, being observed on June 12. However, Dr Duseja declined to share further details and the sample size of the survey.
“The survey report will soon be published in an international journal. Right now, my primary focus is to generate awareness about NASH,” said Dr Duseja. The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common liver disease the world over and occurs in patients who do not consume alcohol or take it in insignificant amounts, but have risk factors such as overweight or obesity, diabetes mellitus (high blood sugar), hypertension (high blood pressure) or dyslipidemia (abnormal blood lipids). “In fact, it is a lifestyle disease which is taking the shape of an epidemic, affecting approximately 25 to 30 per cent of the general population. Excess fat in the liver (fatty liver) in some patients leads to inflammation (swelling) and fibrosis (scarring) in the liver, which is technically called as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH),” said Dr Duseja.
Ultrasound is the most common modality used to diagnose fatty liver and is fairly reliable.

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