Earlier this year I wrote about the sobering fact that up to 10% of children in the USA are estimated to be living with NAFLD, with nearly a quarter of them having progressed to NASH. It’s bad enough that millions of children are having to face this disease so early in life but the evidence is actually getting worse for pre-teen children, as research has shown that fatty liver disease progression through NASH to fibrosis and eventual liver failure is significantly accelerated versus the teen or adult population.
There is not a wide amount of awareness of NASH even among the highest at-risk adults, but there is also an increasingly worrying trend of increased NAFLD & NASH diagnosis in children, some extremely young. Alarmingly, studies have found that progression from NALFD to more advanced NASH was quicker and more severe than in adults.
There isn’t a lot of empirical data available on younger children and the disease, but several studies have been undertaken in an attempt to understand the prevalence of the disease.