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About 25% of the German population is affected by fatty liver disease. One of the main causes of fatty liver disease, other than excessive alcohol consumption, is associated with an unhealthy lifestyle characterised by overeating and too little exercise. In about one third of those affected, inflammation of the liver cells occurs in the course of the disease. This inflammatory form is called non-alcoholic steatohepatitis or NASH. If the inflammation progresses unnoticed, it can have long-term and serious health consequences, such as cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.
As a central metabolic organ, the liver performs numerous functions in the body. People with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis often have additional diseases as part of metabolic syndrome. These include obesity, type 2 diabetes and coronary heart diseases.
From the patient’s point of view, the various diseases result in a multitude of different contact persons and responsibilities. From a medical point of view, metabolic diseases, and thus also NASH, cannot be considered in isolation. To date, interdisciplinary care for patients with fatty liver diseases and the associated comorbidities is not yet the standard model.
The university medical centre Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum is taking an innovative approach in this field and has founded the department for preventive and metabolic medicine under Professor Ali Canbay, Director of the Medical Clinic.
Kautz5 gUG sees great potential in this concept to improve care for patients and has supported the clinic in producing a film showing how care is structured in the newly established department.