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      Support Needs and Coping Strategies in Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD): A Multidisciplinary Approach to Potential Unmet Challenges beyond Pharmacological Treatment

      , , , , , , ,
      Livers
      MDPI AG

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          Abstract

          Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most frequently occurring chronic liver disease, affecting approximately 25–30% of the adult general population worldwide. NAFLD reflects excess hepatic accumulation of fat in the absence of increased alcohol intake, and, due to its close association with obesity, is frequently referred to as the ‘hepatic manifestation’ of metabolic syndrome. Indeed, a high percentage of individuals with NAFLD present with a combination of the cardio-metabolic comorbidities that are associated with the metabolic syndrome. In addition to its well-established link with the metabolic syndrome and increased risk for cardiovascular disease, NAFLD has also been associated with certain mental health issues (e.g., depression and stress). Although this link is now being increasingly recognized, there are still unmet needs regarding the holistic management of patients with NAFLD, which could further contribute to feelings of social isolation and loneliness. The latter conditions are also increasingly reported to pose a substantial risk to overall health and quality of life. To date, there is limited research that has explored these issues among patients with NAFLD, despite existing data which indicate that perceived loneliness and isolation may pose an additional health risk. Notably, many features associated with NAFLD have been related to these concepts, such as perceived stigma, fatigue, stress, and confusion regarding this diagnosis. As such, this review aimed to assess such potential problems faced by patients with NAFLD, and to explore the possibility of unmet support needs which could lead to perceived social isolation. Moreover, the importance of a compassionate approach towards such patients is discussed, together with potential coping strategies. Future research directions and the need for a multidisciplinary approach are also highlighted.

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          Most cited references70

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          MAFLD: A consensus-driven proposed nomenclature for metabolic associated fatty liver disease

          Fatty liver associated with metabolic dysfunction is common, affects a quarter of the population, and has no approved drug therapy. Although pharmacotherapies are in development, response rates appear modest. The heterogeneous pathogenesis of metabolic fatty liver diseases and inaccuracies in terminology and definitions necessitate a reappraisal of nomenclature to inform clinical trial design and drug development. A group of experts sought to integrate current understanding of patient heterogeneity captured under the acronym nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and provide suggestions on terminology that more accurately reflects pathogenesis and can help in patient stratification for management. Experts reached consensus that NAFLD does not reflect current knowledge, and metabolic (dysfunction) associated fatty liver disease "MAFLD" was suggested as a more appropriate overarching term. This opens the door for efforts from the research community to update the nomenclature and subphenotype the disease to accelerate the translational path to new treatments.
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            Modeling NAFLD disease burden in China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States for the period 2016–2030

            Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are increasingly a cause of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma globally. This burden is expected to increase as epidemics of obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome continue to grow. The goal of this analysis was to use a Markov model to forecast NAFLD disease burden using currently available data.
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              Loneliness and social isolation as risk factors for coronary heart disease and stroke: systematic review and meta-analysis of longitudinal observational studies

              Background The influence of social relationships on morbidity is widely accepted, but the size of the risk to cardiovascular health is unclear. Objective We undertook a systematic review and meta-analysis to investigate the association between loneliness or social isolation and incident coronary heart disease (CHD) and stroke. Methods Sixteen electronic databases were systematically searched for longitudinal studies set in high-income countries and published up until May 2015. Two independent reviewers screened studies for inclusion and extracted data. We assessed quality using a component approach and pooled data for analysis using random effects models. Results Of the 35 925 records retrieved, 23 papers met inclusion criteria for the narrative review. They reported data from 16 longitudinal datasets, for a total of 4628 CHD and 3002 stroke events recorded over follow-up periods ranging from 3 to 21 years. Reports of 11 CHD studies and 8 stroke studies provided data suitable for meta-analysis. Poor social relationships were associated with a 29% increase in risk of incident CHD (pooled relative risk: 1.29, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.59) and a 32% increase in risk of stroke (pooled relative risk: 1.32, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.68). Subgroup analyses did not identify any differences by gender. Conclusions Our findings suggest that deficiencies in social relationships are associated with an increased risk of developing CHD and stroke. Future studies are needed to investigate whether interventions targeting loneliness and social isolation can help to prevent two of the leading causes of death and disability in high-income countries. Study registration number CRD42014010225.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Journal
                Livers
                Livers
                MDPI AG
                2673-4389
                March 2023
                December 23 2022
                : 3
                : 1
                : 1-20
                Article
                10.3390/livers3010001
                e98512a8-220c-49e2-bc48-db484506c734
                © 2022

                https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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