News & Events

Published On: 9/9/2020

Asian Lean Patients With NAFLD Are 53% Less Likely To Have Cirrhosis, Cardiovascular, And Metabolic Diseases - Latest Data Findings Released From TARGET-NASH Study

DURHAM, N.C., Sept. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Target RWE, an innovative health evidence solutions company generating real-world evidence (RWE) and delivering regulatory-grade data, announced the latest findings from its nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) clinical study TARGET-NASH.

Published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Asian patients with a lean body mass index (BMI) category and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are 53% less likely to have a more severe form of liver disease compared to non-Asian NAFLD participants with lean BMI.

"These findings can help direct our research into why there is a disparity between lean NAFLD patients of different ethnic origins and the long-term clinical implications of NAFLD in people who clinically present as lean," said Ethan Weinberg, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and lead author. "This is further evidence that NAFLD is not a homogenous disease and the severity is influenced by a number of factors other than simply having fat in the liver."

"We know there are differences in genetics, often covering a wide geographic area for people of Asian descent, and factors like diet and lifestyle, that contribute to a NAFLD diagnosis. This observational research provides valuable insights into populations who might not be adequately represented in a traditional clinical trial."

The study analyzed 3,386 participants with NAFLD enrolled in TARGET-NASH from August 2016 to March 2019. The objective was to describe the prevalence of cirrhosis among patients with NAFLD and normal BMI, as NAFLD is typically associated with obesity.

"As expected, we found that most patients with NAFLD were overweight or obese and only 13% had normal BMI (lean NAFLD). Across all races and ethnicities, NAFLD patients with normal BMI were less likely to have cirrhosis, cardiovascular, or metabolic diseases than those who are obese," said Anna Lok, MD, Professor of Medicine at the University of Michigan, and senior author. "Even so, we need to help NAFLD patients with normal BMI to get rid of the fat in their liver and to understand if their liver, cardiovascular, and metabolic diseases progress at slower rates than those who are obese."

TARGET-NASH is an observational study of participants with NAFLD and/or NASH in usual clinical practice. Target RWE's network of sites includes adult and pediatric participants, across the disease spectrum, receiving care in community and academic centers. Once enrolled, three years of retrospective and five years of prospective data is collected.

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