- When the accumulation of fat in the liver occurs outside of any heavy alcohol intake, it is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NASH).
- Non-alcoholic steatosis concerns 7.83 million French people, among whom 200,000 people are at high risk of developing irreversible complications of their liver.
“The impact of NASH on mother and child is a growing topic.” At the Paris NASH Meeting 2021, Prof. Lawrence Serfaty presented a new study * which demonstrates for the first time that the existence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in pregnant women significantly increases the risk of serious complications related to pregnancy.
Eclampsia, postpartum hemorrhage, premature births
“This triples the risk of eclampsia”, For example, said Lawrence Serfaty, professor of hepatology and head of the liver disease department at Strasbourg University Hospital. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease also promotes postpartum hemorrhage, premature births and the risk of maternal death, regardless of the prior existence of obesity, diabetes or hypertension.
These results require management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in women with a desire to become pregnant, and close monitoring in this population at high obstetric risk.“Suggest taking aspirin in the third trimester to limit eclampsia is also possible”, Judge Prof. Lawrence Serfaty. According to his estimates, 5 to 10% of pregnancies occur in the presence of NASH in France, even if no official figure is yet available on this subject.
Leading cause of chronic liver disease
In the United States, the obesity epidemic affects about a third of women of childbearing age. In this context, it has been shown from a study of more than 18 million American pregnancies that the number of pregnancies with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease had almost tripled between 2007 and 2015.
NASH is a liver disease associated with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance, and diabetes. Today it has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in the world. Apart from the hygienic and dietary measures, no treatment can currently overcome them.
* Published in the Journal of hepatology. Authors: Monika Sarkar, Joshua Grab, Jennifer L. Dodge, Roxanna A. Irani, Marcelle Cedars, Norah Terrault.