AGA member Zobair Younossi, MD, MPH, and three other expert and patient panelists called upon Congress to help educate policymakers and the public on the increasing burden of NASH and to take steps to prevent its increase, including more funding for research.
Dr. Younossi provided congressional staffers with an informative presentation on the prevalence, adverse clinical outcomes, and economic outcomes of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). He noted that 6.65 million adults have NASH – 688,000 have advanced NASH. Treatment of these patients carries an economic burden of $222.6 billion in direct costs and $95.4 billion in lifetime direct costs of advanced NASH.
Although NASH was discovered almost 40 years ago, the prevalence has doubled in the last 15 years and challenges to optimize disease diagnosis and management remain. The briefing was sponsored by the Global Liver Institute and its founder and CEO, Donna Cryer, JD, is a NASH patient and liver transplant recipient. Dr. Younossi noted that, between 2015 and 2030, the percentage of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) that is related to NASH is projected to increase from 20% to 27%.
AGA thanks Dr. Younossi, the other panelists, and the Global Liver Institute for assembling this important educational forum and encouraging Congress to take action.