NASH Day: how to fight Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis?

On International NASH Day, June 9, 2022, IHU ICAN looks back at ways to fight this liver disease that affects 25% of the adult population worldwide.

Also called “fatty liver disease” or “soda disease”, the Non-Alcoholic SteatoHepatitis (NASH) is a chronic disease caused by accumulation of intrahepatic fat in the liver (steatosis), associated with metabolic risk factors (obesity, type 2 diabetes…), but not linked to excessive alcohol consumption.

NASH: a disease in constant progression

The number of individuals with metabolic steatosis is increasing rapidly and will continue to do so in the coming years, especially with the increase intype 2 diabetes and obesity worldwide.

  • 18.2% of the adult population in France affected (25% worldwide, 32% in the US)
  • 7,000 deaths per year in France(118,000 in Europe, 104,000 in the United States)
  • 3,445,000 new cases in Europe in 2016
  • Average age of onset:52 years(mainly in men)

Source: Serfaty Gastroenterology 2020, CONSTANCES cohort

What are the causes of NASH?

One of the main causes of the development of NASH is the insulin resistance of an individual, associated with metabolic risk factors such as :

  • Severe obesity,
  • Type 2 diabetes(more than 70% of diabetic patients are affected by steatosis),
  • High blood pressure,
  • Sleep apnea,
  • Dyslipidemia,
  • Aging,
  • Or genetic and epigenetic factors(cases of familial aggregation in relation to environmental and epigenetic factors).

Disease considered silent, NASH is often diagnosed unexpectedly, sometimes at advanced stages: fibrosis, cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma…

How to prevent NASH?

There is no effective treatmentto cure a patient with NASH. Research and innovation are therefore essential to improve patient care.

However, certain hygienic and dietary measures are strongly recommended for patients at any stage of severity of hepatic steatosis:

  • Change in diet with an adapted diet, limitation of alcohol consumption, diet,
  • Fight against sedentary lifestyle,with an increase in physical exercise and sports,
  • Weight control,
  • Diabetes control.

These modifications are essential to promote the regression of the disease (steatosis, NASH or fibrosis) and to slow down the evolution towards cirrhosis and its complications(hepatic cancer, decompensation of cirrhosis).

controle poids

In cases where dietary measures are not sufficient to slow the progression of NASH, bariatric surgery may be considered:

  • For obese patients without advanced fibrosis, it allows a significant improvement of the liver damage with a return to a normal liver in a considerable proportion of cases.
  • For patients with advanced fibrosis (≥ F3) or cirrhosis, however, the results are moderate.

NASH: how to improve patient management?

NASH has a significant impact on public health expenditures, with direct and indirect costs associated with the disease that are significant to health systems. Indeed, this disease is a multifactorial pathology that requires a multidisciplinary management.

To answer this problem, theIHU ICANcontributed in 2019 to the implementation of the NASH clinic with AP-HP (Public Hospitals of Paris) which is today the 1st hospital structure for diagnosis and multidisciplinary care of patients with metabolic steatosis in France.

  • Over 300 patientscaredfor since its inception between 2019,
  • An innovative, multidisciplinary and personalized care program,
  • A unified and fluid circuit, in a single location at the Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital (Paris),
  • A dedicated team: hepatologist, radiologist, nutritionists, dietician, therapeutic education and sports educators.

Learn more about the NASH Clinic.

How to act in the fight against NASH?

Donations are essential to support the excellence of French research on cardiometabolic diseases and to take action on this major public health issue. Find out how your donations are used.

  • You can choose to support medical research against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease alongside the ICAN IHU by making a donation to the projects developed by the NASH clinic. Contact Francine Trocméby e-mail at or by phone at 01 88 40 64 05.

You can also support all the activities of the IHU ICAN, which fights on a daily basis against other cardiometabolic diseases (obesity, diabetes, heart and vessel diseases, etc.).