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Category: Liver Diseases
It used to be that only adults received unhealthy liver panel test results. However, experts say that young people are increasingly affected by fatty liver disease, which could have serious implications for their long-term health.
Childhood obesity rates have been rising in recent years, which may account for the growing prevalence of fatty liver disease, a condition characterized by increasing levels of fat in the liver. This may cause scarring that eventually impairs the function of the organ.
A recent study published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition indicated that the number of children suffering from the condition has spiked in recent years. The results showed that from 1986 to 1988, the rate of children discharged from the hospital with fatty liver disease was 0.9 per 100,000 population. That number increased to 4.3 between 2004 and 2006.
The team said that the obesity epidemic is the most likely cause of the rising rates of fatty liver disease. Regardless, more young people may benefit from liver panel testing to determine if they are affected by the condition, particularly if they are overweight.
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