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Improving detection and management of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease: Setting research priorities

Tuesday 26 September 2023, 9.30am – 3.30pm
Riverside Stadium, Middlesbrough, Cleveland, TS3 6RS

Co-hosted by NIHR Applied Research Collaboration North East and North Cumbria, Teesside University, South Tees NHS Trust and Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health

About the event

Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) is a chronic disease that affects around 1 in 3 people in the UK. If NAFLD is not detected and managed effectively it can progress to advanced scarring of the liver, cirrhosis, and for some, end-stage liver disease. Risk factors for NAFLD include pre-diabetes, obesity, and low levels of physical activity, therefore it is considered preventable for most people.

Although it is not attributable to alcohol, alcohol consumption when combined with other risk factors, can accelerate progression of NAFLD, and reduce the positive effects of lifestyle behaviour change. Research also suggests that anxiety is highly prevalent in people with advanced NAFLD that has implications for effective management. Due to the asymptomatic nature of NAFLD, it can progress undetected, therefore patients frequently present once end-stage liver disease has developed.

The Tees Valley has some of the highest rates of liver disease in England. Darlington, Stockton-on-Tees, and Redcar and Cleveland are ranked 7th, 10th and 13th respectively for liver disease mortality rates in under 75s; and Hartlepool and Middlesbrough are ranked 4th and 16th for NAFLD-related hospital admissions. Other areas of north-east England are ranked similarly, and prevalence is largely driven by high levels of deprivation. Those from deprived areas are more likely to develop, be hospitalised, and die from liver disease when compared to those from the least deprived areas.

This in person event will provide information about a recently funded NIHR Research Partnership for liver disease research. It will include informative presentations and will involve a formal priority setting exercise that will inform a larger research funding application to NIHR. The purpose is to build research capacity and capability.

This is the second of three events that aims to identify and involve a range of stakeholders to facilitate the generation of good quality research proposals that have the potential to improve the lives of people with NAFLD.

What will I gain from this? 

An increased awareness of what NAFLD is, how it can be detected and managed; an update on NAFLD research in progress; an opportunity to network and work collaboratively to set research priorities and to develop research proposals to optimise service provision.

Who should attend? 

Anyone with expertise and experience of prevention, detection, and management of NAFLD, or other related long-term health conditions. We encourage attendance from clinical colleagues, academics and researchers with expertise in liver disease and/or lifestyle intervention, those working in local authority public health, community, and voluntary services. We also encourage people with NAFLD to attend to ensure research priorities are informed by lived experience.

If you have any further questions about the event, please contact Leah Avery, Professor of Applied Health Psychology, Teesside University (Lead, NIHR funded Tees Valley Research Partnership) ([email protected]), Dr Tim Hardy, Consultant Hepatologist, South Tees NHS Hospitals Trust (co-lead) or Cheryl Wiscombe, Event Administrator, [email protected]

View the event programme