Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Africa and Middle East: An Attempt to Predict the Present and Future Implications on the Healthcare System

Mohamed H. Ahmed, Sufian K. Noor, Sarra O. Bushara, Nazik Elmalaika Husain, Wadie M. Elmadhoun, Ibrahim A. Ginawi, Meissa M. Osman, Abdalhafeez O. Mahmoud, Ahmed O. Almobarak


Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) encompasses a group of hepatic diseases that range in severity. NAFLD is increasingly recognized as an epidemic among different populations, including those in Africa and the Middle East. The objective of this narrative review is to document the prevalence of and risk factors for NAFLD in Africa and the Middle East and the potential implications on the healthcare systems. An in-depth search on Google Scholar, Medline and PubMed was conducted using the termsnon-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, in addition to prevalence and risk factors for NAFLD, with special emphasis on Africa and the Middle East countries. There were three types of epidemiological studies that included prevalence, risk factors and management/complications of NAFLD. There was noticeable variation in the prevalence of NAFLD among different countries, based on the variation in the prevalence of risk factors (type 2 diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome and dyslipidemia) and the diagnostic tool used in the study. However, the highest prevalence rate was reported in some Middle East countries. In Africa, there were few studies about NAFLD and most reported variable prevalence rates. There is an increasing prevalence of NAFLD as a result of the increasing risk factors, particularly in the Middle East, while in Africa, the situation is still unclear. Health providers in these regions are faced with many challenges that need urgent plans.

Gastroenterol Res. 2017;10(5):271-279


Fatty liver; Africa; Lipid profile

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