Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), also known as metabolic-associated fatty liver disease (MAFLD), involves the buildup of fat in the liver. Over time, this can progress to a more severe condition known as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
Fat accumulation triggers inflammation, which can lead to liver fibrosis (buildup of scar tissue), cirrhosis and liver cancer. Now that hepatitis B can be prevented with a vaccine and hepatitis C can be cured, fatty liver disease has become a leading reason for serious liver complication and liver transplants.
Many people with fatty liver disease have obesity, diabetes and other metabolic conditions, and cardiovascular disease is a common cause of illness and death. There are currently no approved medical treatments for NAFLD and NASH, and management relies on lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy diet, losing weight, exercising and limiting alcohol consumption.