A Health Crisis Looms: Alarming Rise in Chronic Liver Disease Predicted by 2050

Human Liver.Pain Disease

A study forecasts a dramatic increase in chronic liver disease, particularly metabolic dysfunction-associated steatosic liver disease (MASLD), over the next 25 years due to rising obesity and diabetes rates. This is expected to double liver cancer cases and triple liver transplant needs by 2050, emphasizing the need for increased awareness and early intervention.

Liver doctors are altering their communication approach regarding liver disease due to the rise in cases.

The prevalence of the most prevalent type of chronic liver disease is projected to increase continuously over the next quarter-century. This escalation will place a substantial strain on healthcare systems, with forecasts indicating a near doubling of liver cancer cases and a near tripling in the demand for liver transplants by 2050. These findings are part of a study recently presented at The Liver Meeting, organized by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Rising rates of obesity and diabetes are blamed for the anticipated increase in the prevalence of the disease currently known as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease or MASLD — a label that was recently updated by medical organizations around the world to reduce the stigma associated with the previous name, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and to better describe common causes of the condition, which affects more than 30% of the global population.

Liver Transplantation Trends

“With diabetes and obesity rates on the rise, MASLD is expected to become the leading reason for liver transplants in the U.S.,” said Phuc Le, Ph.D., MPH, assistant professor at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine and lead researcher on the study, which created a mathematical model that anticipated annual population trends and the incidence and progression of MASLD. Hepatitis C is currently the most common cause of liver disease, followed by damage caused by long-term alcohol use.

Le’s model predicts a 23% rise in MASLD among adults in the U.S., affecting 27.8%. adults in 2020 and climbing to 34.3% by 2050. The most severe form of the disease is also expected to rise, resulting in nearly twice as many liver cancers each year, a jump from 10,400 new cancers a year in 2020 to an estimated 19,300 by 2050, and almost triple the need for liver transplants, from 1,700 cases in 2020 to 4,200 anticipated cases in 2050.

“Liver diseases often progress silently, with symptoms appearing only in advanced stages. Increased awareness is essential to maximize the opportunities to prevent liver complications,” said AASLD President Norah Terrault, MD, MPH, FAASLD. “Early detection and timely interventions can make a difference – which is why AASLD is dedicated to equipping clinicians with the knowledge and skills needed to bring about improved health outcomes.”

Reference: “Projection of the Clinical Burden of NAFLD (MASLD) in US Adults from 2020-2050: A Modeling Study,” by Phuc Le, 11 November 2023, The Liver Meeting: abstract 2245-A. 

2 Comments on "A Health Crisis Looms: Alarming Rise in Chronic Liver Disease Predicted by 2050"

  1. Charles G. Shaver | January 13, 2024 at 8:28 am | Reply

    Not a healthcare professional of any kind I don’t generally even try to address liver diseases of any kind. However, with the emphasis placed on obesity and diabetes in the article, I believe it’s relevant to post again that following some 20,000 others (website counter in the day) about MSG I first wrote the US FDA (with replies) of my early lay findings of connections between food allergies (Dr. Arthur F. Coca, by 1935), added MSG (FDA approved for expanded use as an alleged “flavor enhancer” in 1980), chronic disease (already generally increasing) and obesity (still rather recently announced as “epidemic”) in October of 2005; obviously, now, in-vain. Since, I’ve written more than 3,500 intended professional recipients and yet the word has not gotten out. So, how many more unsuspecting people will have to become disabled and/or die prematurely from officially approved food poisoning before the carnage ends?

  2. Yet no mention of the huge increase in use of HFCS High Fructose Corn Syrup in almost everything, with fructose relying on the liver for its metabolisation. Fructose was linked years ago with an upswing in fatty liver disease, particularly in the obese. As the liver is also the body’s detoxification centre, a look at the effects of sweeteners would be instructive as they too are now in everything. The obsession with cholesterol has also taken our eyes off the ball with the dramatic increase in the use of carbohydrates as far substitutes in so-called “diet” products, that ate clearly not doing what they’re promoted to do. Meanwhile obesity and diabetes rates are skyrocketing. On a positive note for the appalling WEF, it reduces longevity and “reduces carbon” by getting rid of us, the walking, living carbon based “useless eaters”.
    It’s got to a stage where there are too many “teams of scientists” and “experts” on the tax and funding teats dependent on funding by giving the “right answers and results”, with any dissenting views frozen out or smeared as “misinformation” regardless of the evidence.

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