The impact of NASH is only starting to be realized. One sobering figure just released by the CDC highlights yet another trend going in the wrong direction. From 2000 to 2016, the mortality rate for liver cancer rose 43%, even while the rates for all other cancers declined.
Liver Cancer has many causes of course, but the troubling increase seems to be more directly correlated to obesity and therefore NASH.
“I think the main reason for the increase in liver cancer incidence and death rate in the US is the increase in the prevalence of excess body weight and hepatitis C virus infection in baby boomers,” said Islami, who authored a study on liver cancer occurrence between 1990 and 2014.
Sadly, there are still far too many people that are unaware they have hepatitis C, another mostly silent liver disease. Unlike NASH, however, there are simple tests to diagnose it and there is even a cure!
I fear that we will continue to see rising mortality numbers with Liver Disease. With projections suggesting over half of all Americans will be obese by 2045, we are going to face a reckoning unless we start to act now to make people healthier and reduce their chances of developed NASH.