Fatty liver is more common in diabetic and obese people and can lead to cirrhosis or worse
If asked to name the common causes of chronic liver disease, most people will mention alcohol and hepatitis caused by viruses. The common cause that is most likely to be omitted is fatty liver or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Most people with fatty liver will never experience significant liver problems but some will deteriorate to a condition called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is inflammation of the liver from excess fat deposits. Some of the persons with NASH will end up with end-stage liver damage called cirrhosis or even liver cancer.
It turns out fatty liver is quite common, particularly in person who are obese or diabetic. In this study conducted in 18 million people in Europe, NASH patients were almost five times more likely to be diagnosed with cirrhosis and more than three and a half times more likely to be diagnosed with liver cancer. While similar large studies have not been done among Africans, it is likely that fatty liver and its complications are undiagnosed. Avoiding the major risk factors for fatty liver and NASH is one way to lower one's risk of these conditions and their complications