People who are overweight and have diabetes are at a higher risk of developing the non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as the prevalence of NAFLD is around 9 percent to 32 percent in the Indian population, the Union Health Ministry informed on Monday.
Researchers have found NAFLD in 40 to 80 per cent of people who have type-2 diabetes, and in 30 to 90 per cent of people who are obese. Studies also suggest that people with NAFLD have a greater chance of developing cardiovascular disease, a statement said.
Launching the operational guidelines for Integration of NAFLD, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan said, “NAFLD, the abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver in the absence of secondary causes of fatty liver. It can cause non-alcoholic steato-hepatitis (NASH), cirrhosis and even liver cancer. Over the last two decades, global burden of NASH has more than doubled. Globally, NASH caused 40 lakh prevalent cases of compensated cirrhosis in 1990, which increased to 94 lakh cases in 2017. NAFLD is emerging as an important cause of liver disease in India.”
The Health Minister noted that India is becoming the first country in the world to identify the need for action for NAFLD. He said, “The government has realized that the existing NCD program’s strategies can now be aligned to achieve the objectives to prevent and control NAFLD with, behavior and lifestyle changes, early diagnosis and management of NAFLD, building of capacity at various levels of healthcare for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of NAFLD.”
Meanwhile, the Central government said that the Ayushman Bharat program has so far screened 838.39 lakh people for hypertension, 683.34 lakh for diabetes and 806.4 lakh for the three common forms of cancer through Health and Wellness Centres (HWC).
They have so far organised 6.91 lakh yoga and wellness sessions at the community level.