High Prevalence of NAFLD, NASH in Overweight, Obese Populations

A recent study showed a high prevalence of NAFLD and NASH among individuals who are overweight or have obesity.

To establish their findings, the researchers conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis. A total of 7389 articles were identified with 151 studies meeting the inclusion criteria for the meta-analysis. A meta-analysis of proportions was done using the generalized linear mixed model. Their study is registered with PROSPERO, an international prospective register of systematic reviews.

The researchers analyzed the data for 101,028 individuals and found that the prevalence of NAFLD in the overweight population was 69.99% (95% CI 65; 40-74.21, p= 99.10%). In the obese population, the prevalence rate for NAFLD was similarly high: 75.27% (95% CI; 70·90 – 79·18, p = 98·50%)

Likewise, the prevalence of NAFL was found to be 42.49% (32.55 – 53·08, p= 96.40%), and the prevalence of NASH was 33.50% (28.38 – 39·04, p = 95.60%) in the overweight population, and 43.05% (32.78 – 53.9,7 p = 96.30%) and 33.67% (28.45 – 39.31, p = 95.60%) in the obese population, respectively.

The authors also examined the regions where the prevalence of non-alcoholic liver disease was most profound. The prevalence of NAFLD in the overweight population was the highest in the region of the Americas, according to the researchers.

“These findings are important for improving the understanding of the global NAFLD burden and supporting disease management in the at-risk overweight and obese population,” the researchers concluded.


—Jessica Ganga


Quek J, Chan KE, Wong ZY, et al. Global prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis in the overweight and obese population: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Gastroenterol Hepatol. Published online November 15, 2022. doi:10.1016/S248