WALTHAM, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#NAFLD—Echosens, a high-technology company offering the FibroScan family of products, today announces the release of its white paper, “Two-Fold Epidemic: Fatty Liver Disease and Obesity Demand Proactive Steps, Earlier Identification of Liver Damage.” The paper examines key aspects of the entwined epidemics of obesity and fatty liver disease and highlights the importance of greater patient engagement and leveraging innovative point of care tools, such as FibroScan, a non-invasive diagnostic solution for measuring liver fat and stiffness. The added assessment of liver health enables heath care professionals to make more informed treatment decisions about liver health and may reduce the need for expensive and more invasive testing.
“The alarming rise in adult obesity rates and related fatty liver disease in the United States and worldwide has led to the need for increased scrutiny of liver damage and associated health issues,” says Jon Gingrich, CEO, Echosens North America. “The impact of obesity on vital organs can be devastating, especially on the liver, causing insulin resistance that leads to buildup of blood sugar and increases the amount of free fatty acids circulating in the blood and inside the liver cells. This is very common in those with Type 2 diabetes, and increases the risk of liver fibrosis, cirrhosis, liver cancer and death.”
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) affects roughly 100 million Americans and costs the U.S. healthcare system $32 billion annually. A retrospective analysis among Medicare Advantage plans found the annual cost of NAFLD was $9,062 for a new diagnosis and $5,363 for long term management versus $4,111 per matched control.
An interim look at an ongoing study of 10,000 patients with no history of liver disease found that only 44 percent of patients evaluated had normal livers based on an assessment using FibroScan. The majority had some form of liver abnormality, ranging from elevated liver fat to liver fibrosis, including 13 percent suspected of having undiagnosed liver fibrosis or cirrhosis.
Gingrich concludes, “This data underscores the critical importance of identifying asymptomatic patients who may be at risk for advancing liver disease and the need for earlier intervention. With the increasing prevalence of disease and the importance of regular assessment, FibroScan offers quick insight into liver health to quantitatively estimate liver fat content and liver stiffness, as well as biomarkers that can be used to diagnose, monitor liver health and get rapid results for the treating clinician.”
Echosens, the developer of FibroScan®, is an innovative high-technology company offering a full range of products and services supporting physicians in their assessment and management of patients with chronic liver diseases. FibroScan is supported by over 2,500 peer-reviewed publications and examinations are covered by Medicare, Medicaid and many insurance plans. For more information, please visit http://www.echosens.us and follow us on Twitter (@echosensNA).
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