The epidemiology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease


The increase in Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease ( NAFLD ) and the imminent disappearance
of chronic viral hepatitis thanks to new and effective therapies is motivating
hepatologists to change their clinical approach to chronic liver disease. NAFLD – cirrhosis
or NAFLD – Hepatocellular Carcinoma ( HCC ) are now the second cause of liver transplanta
tion in the USA . This short- review is focused to the epidemiology of NAFLD /
Non-alchoholic Steatohepatitis ( NASH ), including the definition of this disease which
should be revised as well discussing the prevalence, risk factors for progression, natural
history and mortality. NAFLD is considered to be the hepatic manifestation of the metabolic
syndrome ( MS ). It affects 25- 30% of the general population and the risk factors
are almost identical to those of MS . The natural history involves either the development
of cardiovascular diseases or cirrhosis and HCC . HCC can also develop in NASH
in the absence of cirrhosis (45% of cases). We conclude that an international consensus
conference on the definition, natural history, policies of surveillance and new pharmacological
treatments of NAFLD and NASH is urgently needed.



cirrhosis , epidemiology , hepatocellular carcinoma , non-alcoholic fatty liver disease , non-alcoholic

About Speaker


Chief of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Service


City: Modena

Institution: Clinica Santa Chiara SA


Biography of Stefano BELLENTANI

Past and present work :

1979-1981 : General Practitioner at the Azienda USL Carpi (Modena), Italy

1982-1983 : GI Fellow at the UCSD San Diego, CA, USA

1983-2015 G.I. Consultant of the Italian National Health System at “Ramazzini” Hospital,

Carpi (Modena).

July 2014-March 2015 G.I. Consultant at Royal Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital, U.K. November 2015-June 2016 G.. Consultant at Frimley Park Hospital, Frimley, London, U.K July 2015-present Chief of Gastroenterology & Hepatology Service at Clinica Santa Chiara-

Locarno, Switzerland.

Research activity :

Dr.Bellentani research activity is mainly in the Hepatology and Gastroenterology fields:

For basic science research:

1997. physiology of biliary secretion

1998. bile acids hepatocyte transport and metabolism

1999. organic anions hepatocyte transport

2000-present: experimental cholestasis, alcoholic liver disease, NASH

For clinical research:

2000. Clinical epidemiology (Gastroenterology)

2001. Epidemiology of chronic liver diseases (hepatitis, liver steatosis, alcoholic liver disease) 2002-present: liver steatosis, NAFLD, AFLD, NASH, ASH, nutrition (food and drinking habits), therapy of chronic liver diseases


Dr. Bellentani is authors of 150 publications (Total I.F. = >450); in details:

92 publications in international peer-reviewed journals;

21 on national journals;

37 chapters of books

Furthermore, he is author of 150 abstracts selected for oral or poster presentations at both national and international meeting. He is considered an International Opinion Leader in the Epidemiology of Chronic Liver Disease, NAFLD and NASH

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