AIG’s Liver Conclave: 60% obese children have fatty liver disease

Hyderabad: During the cit-based Asian Institute of Gastroenterology (AIG) Hospital group’s three-day “Liver Conclave, which was attended by renowned medical practitioners from across the globe, have come up with a startling revelation that 60 percent of obese children have fatty liver disease.

It was probably the first time in India that so many legendary liver experts of around 1300 came together to educate and update per se physicians on the management of liver disorders, which will eventually help lacs of patients, said Dr. D Nageshwar Reddy, Chairman of AIG Hospitals.

“In India, the incidence of liver diseases is growing rapidly, and we are dealing with a deadly trio, i.e., Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD), Hepatitis B & C, and Hepatocellular Carcinoma (Liver Cancer). The cause of concern is NAFLD as it is affecting our pediatric population to a great extent. Approximately 60% of obese children have fatty liver disease, Dr. Reddy further elaborated.

According to him the combination of diabetes and fatty liver aided by poor dietary habits and a sedentary lifestyle is indeed one of the biggest causes of liver diseases leading to cirrhosis (hardening of liver) and liver failure. “Not only that we are still battling the alcohol abuse in our country which continues to contribute significantly to liver diseases and in recent past have increased too,” he pointed out.

Interestingly, he said their experience in their Hepatology department where people are presenting with Liver Failure, is not linked with alcohol usage. And, another significant point is that NAFLD is not just limited to the urban population, but impacts the rural population as well. 

The intent behind organizing such a large-scale liver conclave, he said was to bring all such experts together where one can learn from each other and see what approach can be worked out to deal with such patients. 

“We made the entire scientific program relevant for practicing hepatologists (liver experts), gastroenterologists, and general practitioners so that based on evidence and latest treatment guidelines, all liver patients can be benefited,” Dr. Mithun Sharma, Director – Hepatology, AIG Hospitals said.

The three-day scientific endeavor had extensive learning sessions for all levels of doctors treating liver patients, featuring a PG Course, LIVE Transmission of advanced endo-hepatology procedures, hands-on workshop, and case-based practical discussions. 

For the first time, Nobel Laureate Prof. Harvey J Alter delivered the keynote address on his discovery of the hepatitis C virus. Distinguished lectures included Prof. Shiv Sarin, Chancellor, ILBS, New Delhi giving the AIG Oration on “Big data and multi-omics in Hepatology” and Prof. MS Khuroo talking about his discovery of the hepatitis E virus.

The conference was graced by top international liver experts namely:

  1. Dr. Rajender Reddy, University of Pennsylvania, USA
  2. Dr. Patrick Kamath, Mayo Clinic, USA
  3. Prof. Julia Wendon, King’s College, London
  4. Dr. Elliot Tapper, University of Michigan, USA
  5. Dr. Jasmohan Bajaj, Richmond VA Medical Center, USA
  6. Prof. Grace Wong, CUKH, Hong Kong
  7. Dr. Amit Singal, UT Southwestern Medical Center, USA
  8. Dr. Ashwani Singal, Sanford School of Medicine, USA
  9. Prof. Juan Pablo Arab, Western University, Canada

Dr. PN Rao, Chief of Hepatology, concluded saying, “We continuously thrive for a science-based approach for all our patients and take the best multidisciplinary approach towards such grave public health issues like liver diseases.

“In a bid to help deal with NAFLD, he opined that not just liver experts need to bother, but also the support from Cardiologists, Endocrinologists, Gastroenterologists, Bariatric experts, and Nutritionists. That’s how we all should work collaboratively to address and treat severe liver diseases. The AIG Liver Conclave was the perfect platform for all to experience this kind of approach and translate it into their clinical practice,” he added.