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Lazarus, Jeffrey V., Henry E. Mark, Marcela Villota-Rivas, Adam Palayew, Patrizia Carrieri, Massimo Colombo, Mattias Ekstedt, Gamal Esmat, Jacob George, Giulio Marchesini et al. "The global NAFLD policy review and preparedness index: Are countries ready to address this silent public health challenge?" Journal of hepatology 76, no. 4 (2022): 771-780. Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a highly prevalent, yet largely underappreciated liver condition which is closely associated with obesity and metabolic disease. Despite affecting an estimated 1 in 4 adults globally, NAFLD is largely absent on national and global health agendas.

METHODS: We collected data from 102 countries, accounting for 86% of the world population, on NAFLD policies, guidelines, civil society engagement, clinical management, and epidemiologic data. A preparedness index was developed by coding questions into 6 domains (policies, guidelines, civil awareness, epidemiology and data, NAFLD detection, and NAFLD care management) and categorising the responses as high, medium, and low; a multiple correspondence analysis was then applied.

RESULTS: The highest scoring countries were India (42.7) and the United Kingdom (40.0), with 32 countries (31%) scoring zero out of 100. For 5 of the domains a minority of countries were categorised as high-level while the majority were categorised as low-level. No country had a national or sub-national strategy for NAFLD and <2% of the different strategies for related conditions included any mention of NAFLD. National NAFLD clinical guidelines were present in only 32 countries.

CONCLUSIONS: Although NAFLD is a pressing public health problem, no country was found to be well prepared to address it. There is a pressing need for strategies to address NAFLD at national and global levels.

LAY SUMMARY: Around a third of the countries scored a zero on the NAFLD policy preparedness index, with no country scoring over 50/100. Although NAFLD is a pressing public health problem, a comprehensive public health response is lacking in all 102 countries. Policies and strategies to address NAFLD at the national and global levels are urgently needed.

Lazarus, Jeffrey V., Henry E. Mark, Quentin M. Anstee, Juan Pablo Arab, Rachel L. Batterham, Laurent Castera, Helena Cortez-Pinto, Javier Crespo, Kenneth Cusi, Ashworth M. Dirac et al. "Advancing the global public health agenda for NAFLD: a consensus statement." Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology 19, no. 1 (2022): 60-78. Abstract

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a potentially serious liver disease that affects approximately one-quarter of the global adult population, causing a substantial burden of ill health with wide-ranging social and economic implications. It is a multisystem disease and is considered the hepatic component of metabolic syndrome. Unlike other highly prevalent conditions, NAFLD has received little attention from the global public health community. Health system and public health responses to NAFLD have been weak and fragmented, and, despite its pervasiveness, NAFLD is largely unknown outside hepatology and gastroenterology. There is only a nascent global public health movement addressing NAFLD, and the disease is absent from nearly all national and international strategies and policies for non-communicable diseases, including obesity. In this global Delphi study, a multidisciplinary group of experts developed consensus statements and recommendations, which a larger group of collaborators reviewed over three rounds until consensus was achieved. The resulting consensus statements and recommendations address a broad range of topics - from epidemiology, awareness, care and treatment to public health policies and leadership - that have general relevance for policy-makers, health-care practitioners, civil society groups, research institutions and affected populations. These recommendations should provide a strong foundation for a comprehensive public health response to NAFLD.

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