Screening, Preventing, and Treating Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Screening, Preventing, and Treating Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

Topic Suggestion

1. What is the decision or change you are facing or struggling with where a summary of the evidence would be helpful?

We are interested in the screening, prevention, and treatment of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD, including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).

2. Why are you struggling with this issue?

NAFLD is common in the U.S. with an estimated prevalence of 34% based on 1994 NHANES-III data. NAFLD is also a leading cause of liver cirrhosis and need for liver transplant. Primary care providers often do not screen patients at risk for NAFLD which enables the disease to progress undetected potentially leading to increased morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. Once NAFLD is detected, what is the preferred treatment? How well does diet and exercise manage or reverse the disease? Can a healthy diet and exercise prevent NAFLD or other there other strategies to prevent NAFLD? Should antihyperglycemic agents or other pharmacotherapy be considered, and if so, in which patients? Should clinical prediction algorithms be used to estimate liver fibrosis? And if so, which algorithms?

3. What do you want to see changed? How will you know that your issue is improving or has been addressed?

Given the high prevalence of undetected NAFLD in the U.S. and lack of a consensus among experts, would like clear guidance on the screening, prevention and treatment of NAFLD in asymptomatic, primary care patients.

4. When do you need the evidence report?

Fri, 07/01/2022

5. What will you do with the evidence report?

The report will be used for front-line healthcare decision making and will inform practice guidelines.

(Optional) About You

What is your role or perspective?

Physician provider and researcher

If you are you making a suggestion on behalf of an organization, please state the name of the organization:

Pacific Northwest Evidence-based Practice Center

May we contact you if we have questions about your nomination?


Title: Associate Professor

Page last reviewed December 2020
Page originally created July 2020

Internet Citation: Screening, Preventing, and Treating Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Content last reviewed December 2020. Effective Health Care Program, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.

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