Low awareness can delay healthcare screening and prevention of NAFLD and its related complications. Therefore, low awareness of NAFLD among the general population is a matter of great concern. This is also important for resource allocation, and the creation and implementation of awareness programs.
A. Singh et al. (Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, USA) aimed to assess the awareness of suspected NAFLD and factors associated with being aware of having a liver disease in a large adult US sample population using the NHANES database.
This study highlights the critical findings that despite an increase in awareness of having a liver disease, especially among subjects with suspected NAFLD and hepatic steatosis index > 36, more than 95% of the adult US population with suspected NAFLD is still unaware of having any liver disease. Moreover, only 3–3.5% of the high-risk patients had awareness of having liver disease over the past decade. A significant increase in BMI, waist circumference, severe obesity, diabetes, MetS, and hypertriglyceridemia was noted among the participants, indicating the increase in risk factors for NAFLD.
This first and large study highlights the low awareness of having a liver disease among the representative US population, especially in subjects with suspected NAFLD and advanced fibrosis.