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Groups release new guide to diagnosing and treating NAFLD

Category: Liver Diseases

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is growing more common, largely as a result of the worsening obesity epidemic. In response to this trend, a group recently put out a new testing and treatment guideline that may change the way doctors decide which patients to administer liver panel tests to.

The new guidelines were created by the American Gasteroenterological Association, the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease and the American College of Gastroenterology.

The authors of the new recommendations told Family Practice News that the guideline more clearly defines excessive alcohol consumption - an important factor differentiating NAFLD from alcohol-induced liver disease - and stresses the importance of ruling out all other potential causes of impaired liver function.

About 10 percent of U.S. adults in the U.S. have NAFLD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The condition can eventually lead to scarring of the liver and eventually organ failure. Given the prevalence of NAFLD, determining the best ways of diagnosing and treating the disease is a matter of pressing public health importance.

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