Rising issue of Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD)

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Source: The post rising issue of Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) has been created, based on the article “Tackling the fatty liver disease epidemic” published in “The Hindu” on 13th June 2024

UPSC Syllabus Topic: GS Paper 2-Governance-Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health

Context: The article discusses the theme for International Fatty Liver Day, “Act Now, Screen Today” It highlights the rising issue of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, now called Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD). It emphasizes the importance of early screening and personalized health checks to detect and manage liver disease before it progresses to severe stages.

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What is the current status of fatty liver disease in India?

  1. Prevalence: MASLD affects 25-30% of people globally. In India, 38.6% of adults and 36% of obese children have fatty liver.
  2. Linked Conditions: High rates of MASLD are found in those with diabetes (55.5%-59.7%), obesity (64.6%-95%), and severe metabolic syndrome (73%).

What is Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD)?

Definition: Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD) is a reclassified name for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.It is linked to metabolic health, cardiac health, and cancer risk.

Reasons

  1. a) MASLD is closely associated with metabolic syndrome, including obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and abnormal cholesterol levels.
  2. b) High carbohydrate intake, especially refined carbs and sugars, leads to high insulin levels.
  3. c) Persistent high insulin levels cause insulin resistance, converting excess glucose into fatty acids stored in the liver.

What should be done?

  1. Prioritize Early Screening: Early detection through comprehensive health screenings is crucial to prevent advanced liver disease.
  2. Incorporate Advanced Testing: Use tools like vibration-controlled transient elastography for early detection of liver fibrosis, as it non-invasively measures liver stiffness, crucial for managing liver health effectively.
  3. Customize Health Checks: Personalize screening frequency and tests based on individual risk factors such as family history and lifestyle, recognizing the diversity in non-communicable disease presentation.
  4. Promote Lifestyle Adjustments: Encourage dietary modifications, regular physical activity, and effective weight management to mitigate liver disease risks, considering the high prevalence of MASLD in obese individuals (64.6%-95%).
  5. Educate on the Importance of Screening: Increase awareness that early stages of liver disease often present no symptoms, emphasizing the importance of regular health checks for early intervention.

Question for practice:

What is the significance of early screening and personalized health checks in detecting and managing Metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD)?

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