Demand for liver transplant for NASH set to continue rising

August 24, 2017

(HealthDay)—Given population obesity trends, the increase in the demand for liver transplantation (LT) for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) noted since 2000 is expected to continue, according to a study published online Aug. 17 in Hepatology.

Neehar D. Parikh, M.D., from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined the temporal trend behind the increase in and NASH-related additions to the LT waitlist in the United States and made projections for future NASH burden on the LT waitlist. Data on the number of NASH-related LT waitlist additions were obtained from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network database from 2000 to 2014. During the same time period, data on the obese U.S. population were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers observed a significant increase of 44.9 percent in the proportion of obese individuals from 2000 to 2014, and the number of NASH-related annual waitlist additions increased from 391 to 1,605. In derivation and validation cohorts, there was a strong correlation for increase in the prevalence of obesity and LT waitlist additions nine years later (R² = 0.9). Between 2016 and 2030, the annual NASH-related waitlist additions were expected to increase by 55.4 percent. Significant regional variation was seen in obesity rates and the expected increase in NASH-related additions (P < 0.01).

"Continued public health efforts to curb obesity prevalence are needed to reduce the projected future burden of NASH," the authors write.

Explore further: Study sheds light on immune responses driving obesity-induced liver disease

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