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| Liver Diseases
High childhood obesity rates lead to more liver problems among young people
Category: Liver Diseases
One consequence of the growing childhood obesity epidemic is that a growing number of adolescents are receiving liver panel results indicating that they have relatively advanced stages of liver disease, experts report.
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is closely linked to obesity. The condition causes scarring in the liver and can lead to dysfunction. It normally results from years of obesity, but doctors are saying they are now beginning to see it in children.
"When you look under the microscope, it looks like an alcoholic's liver, but they're not boozing it up," Dr. Stephanie Abrams, a pediatric liver specialist at Texas Children's Hospital, told the San Antonio Chronicle. "The reason they have it is their weight."
The news source reported it has been estimated that up to 6 million young people between the ages of 2 and 19 have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that the childhood obesity rate has more than tripled over the course of the last 30 years, as it now stands at about 20 percent. This trend may account for many of the cases of unhealthy liver panel tests among children.
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