For last week’s practice question, we quizzed participants on Diabetes and NASH. 41% of respondents chose the best answer. We want to clarify and share this important information, so you can pass it on to people living with diabetes and your colleagues, plus prepare for exam success!
Before we start though, if you don’t want any spoilers and haven’t tried the question yet, you can answer it below: Answer Question
The provider referred RT, a 72-year-old with type 2 diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty steatohepatitis (NASH), for an appointment with the diabetes care and education specialist. RT is frightened because their brother died of liver cancer.
Which of the following is the most accurate statement regarding NASH and diabetes?
Answer 1 is correct. 41.14% chose this answer, “NASH is when intrahepatic fat is equal to or greater than 5% of liver weight.” GREAT JOB! According to ADA Standard 4, “NASH is defined histologically as having more than 5% hepatic steatosis and associated with inflammation and hepatocyte injury (hepatocyte ballooning), with or without evidence of liver fibrosis”.
Answer 2 is incorrect. 27.11% of you chose this answer, “About 30% of people with diabetes and extra weight also have NASH.” This is a juicy answer, but it is an underestimate of the current problem. Recent studies in adults in the U.S. estimate that more than 70% of people with type 2 diabetes have non alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The more serious, steatohepatitis, is estimated to affect more than 50% of people with type 2 diabetes with NAFLD and it appears to be a driver for the development of fibrosis.
Answer 3 is incorrect. 14.14% of respondents chose this answer, “There are standardized medication algorithms to guide the treatment of NASH.” According to ADA Standard 4, at present, there are no FDA-approved drugs for the treatment of NASH. Therefore, treatment for people with type 2 diabetes and NASH is centered on the dual purpose of treating hyperglycemia and weight loss. Pioglitazone and some glucagon-like peptide 1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) have been shown to be effective to treat steatohepatitis, may slow fibrosis progression, and decrease cardiovascular disease.
Finally, Answer 4 is incorrect. 17.62% chose this answer, “Risk of NASH is greater in people who consume excess alcohol and processed foods.” Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis [NASH] indicates liver inflammation in the absence of ongoing or recent consumption of significant amounts of alcohol (defined as ingestion of >21 standard drinks per week in men and >14 standard drinks per week in women over a 2-year period preceding evaluation) or the presence of other secondary causes of fatty liver disease. NASH is not a result of excess alcohol intake and is usually associated with genetics, body weight and insulin resistance.
Thank you so much for reading this “Rationale of the Week”.
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