NAFLD & NASH
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) and Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH) are current top prevalent liver diseases in western countries. If untreated, 12~40% of NAFLD will progress to NASH. As the global prevalence rate of NAFLD being reached to as high as 25%, the reality of no effective therapeutic agents for NAFLD and NASH has become a serious and unmet medical need for human society. NAFLD means that excess fat accumulates in the liver in the form of triglycerides (steatosis) (>5% of hepatocyte tissue). NASH is characterized by hepatomegaly, fatigue, elevated serum transaminase, histology changes in alcohol-like hepatitis but no history of alcohol abuse in patients. There is almost no pathological difference between Non-Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (NASH) and Alcoholic Steato-Hepatitis (ASH). There is no correlation between simple steatosis and short-term increases in morbidity or mortality in NAFLD, but once progression to NASH, the risk of cirrhosis, liver failure, and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) are significantly increased. Since cirrhosis caused by NASH is an increasing factor for liver transplantation, the incidence and mortality in liver disease patients have been greatly increased by NASH. And are closely related with the increase of morbidity and mortality in cardiovascular disease. NASH is widely considered as a liver manifestation of metabolic syndrome, such as type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, central obesity, hyperlipidemia, and hypertension. With the current global prevalence of diabetes and obesity, NASH will become an increasingly common liver problem, increasing the global burden of liver disease and affecting global public health and healthcare costs. It is estimated that NAFLD/NASH will increase direct and indirect medical costs by 26% within 5 years. It is also estimated that in the United States, up to 5% of the population suffer from NASH. And the death of chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is also one of the top 15 causes of death among Americans.