Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a group of conditions that is characterized by the accumulation of excess fat in the liver that is not directly attributed to the consumption of alcohol. While it is normal for the liver to contain small amounts of fat, if 5-10% of the liver’s weight is fat, it is considered a fatty liver or steatosis.1 If left unmanaged, some individuals may develop a more severe form of NAFLD known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which can lead to liver scarring, cirrhosis, end-stage liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC).
NAFLD commonly occurs in patients who are overweight, diabetic, or have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It is the most widespread form of chronic liver disease in the U.S. and affects up to 100 million people. 2 Reports show that there are significant racial and ethnic disparities associated with NAFLD prevalence and severity in the U.S, with the highest burden found in Hispanics.3 Globally, the prevalence of NAFLD in the general population is estimated to be 25%.4