Global epidemiology of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease/non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis: What we need in the future


The estimated prevalence of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) worldwide is approximately 25%. However, the real prevalence of NAFLD and the associated disorders is unknown mainly because reliable and applicable diagnostic tests are lacking. This is further complicated by the lack of consensus on the terminology of different entities such as NAFLD or nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Although assessing fatty infiltration in the liver is simple by ultrasound, the gold standard for the assessment of fibrosis, the only marker of progression towards more severe liver disease is still liver biopsy. Although other non‐invasive tests have been proposed, they must still be validated in large series. Because NAFL/NAFLD/NASH and related metabolic diseases represent an economic burden, finding an inexpensive method to diagnose and stage fatty liver is a priority. A translational approach with the use of cell and/or animal models could help to reach this goal.


global epidemiology, new definition, non alcoholic fatty liver disease, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis


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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