diagnosis and management

AHA Releases First Scientific Statement on NAFLD, ASCVD

The American Heart Association (AHA) has released their first scientific statement on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and its association with atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). 

“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a common condition that is often hidden or missed in routine medical care,” said P. Barton Duell, MD, chair of the statement writing committee and a professor at Oregon Health & Science University (Portland, OR). 

As many individuals with NAFLD go undiagnosed, the statement emphasizes a need for increased screening and awareness. While the statement reiterates that a liver biopsy is the best way to diagnose NAFLD, a vibration controlled transient elastography may also be used as a noninvasive screening tool.

Many risk factors of NAFLD are also risk factors for ASCVD, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, prediabetes, and obesity.

Reducing fat intake, avoiding weight gain, and other lifestyle modifications are considered the first-line treatment for early NAFLD. While glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists may be used, other medication therapies are in development.


—Leigh Precopio



Barton Duell P, Welty FK, Miller M, et el. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and cardiovascular risk: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol. Published online April 14, 2022. doi:10.1161/ATV.0000000000000153