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Putting non-alcoholic fatty liver disease on the radar for primary care physicians: how well are we doing?

BMC Med; 16(1): 148, 2018 08 24.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30139362
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) has emerged as a common cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality. Tackling this condition at a societal level will require a clear understanding of the burden of disease in the general population. However, a major limitation of such an assessment, particularly in a real-world setting, is the low rate of diagnosis of the condition, as recently identified by Alexander et al. (BMC Med 16:130, 2018). Therein, the likelihood that the condition is indeed underdiagnosed and the potential causes for such underdiagnosis are discussed. The authors underscore the need for physician education and for development of simple evaluation tools that are both robust and implementable in a primary care setting, along with effective therapeutics to overcome this apathy towards NAFLD. Importantly, there remains a need for additional data on the prevalence of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, the more aggressive form of NAFLD, especially with progressive fibrosis, along with patient outcomes to inform health policy decisions related to screening, surveillance, and access to therapeutics.