Epidemiology

The exact incidence and prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remains unknown. It is estimated that NAFLD affects 20% to 40% of the Western world, with the Asian and Pacific regions being less affected.[3] The majority of cases occur in people between the ages of 40-60 years, but NAFLD is becoming increasingly prevalent in the paediatric population.[4] Although initially thought to be a disease primarily affecting women, NAFLD is now known to affect the sexes equally. Ethnic differences seem to play a role in the prevalence of fatty liver in the US, with Hispanic people more affected than white people. There is some evidence to suggest that African-Americans are less susceptible to the progressive form of the disease.

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