New research has estimated that four in five people in the South West who have NASH, the more advanced form of fatty liver disease, have not been diagnosed, the British Liver Trust announced today.

IOn International NASH Day, the British Liver Trust, the UK’s leading liver health charity, is raising awareness of this growing epidemic as latest figures suggest the prevalence of fatty liver disease in is rising at an alarming rate. In the South West, almost 63% of adults are overweight or obese, putting them at a greater risk of non-alcohol-related liver disease (NAFLD).  

Pamela Healy, chief executive at the British Liver Trust said: 'Being obese or overweight is the main risk factor for non-alcohol related fatty liver disease and experts predict that it will become the leading cause of liver disease in the UK in the next ten years.

'Early diagnosis is crucial in managing NAFLD effectively. We know that, if it is caught early, there is good evidence that losing weight can reverse damage to the liver and stop any further progression.'  

NAFLD is a long-lasting liver condition caused by having too much fat in the liver. It is closely linked with being overweight, as well as conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. If left undetected, NAFLD can progress to a more severe form of fatty liver disease known as NASH that can lead to liver failure or liver cancer.  Approximately 12% of adults in the UK have NASH.  

The main treatment goals for NAFLD are to prevent the condition from worsening, reducing the risk of NASH, which can lead to liver cancer or liver failure, and to promote liver repair by reversing as much of the damage as possible.  

The British Liver Trust raises awareness about the increasing prevalence of NAFLD, it has urged people to take proactive steps to protect their liver health. A healthy diet, increased physical activity, and weight loss form the foundation of NAFLD treatment. Studies indicate that losing 5 to 10% of body weight can halt, and in some cases, even reverse liver damage for individuals who are overweight.   

You can check whether you are at risk of liver disease by visiting