Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease way up among servicemembers
The military experienced a 12-fold increase in the number of troops diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, according to a new health report that found the Air Force recording the highest rates.
The study marks the first time that the military’s Medical Surveillance Monthly Report looked at occurrences of the disease, which is linked to obesity and can result in cirrhosis of the liver.
“Service members with severe NAFLD resulting in impaired liver function are unable to perform their military duties and are disqualified from service,” the Defense Health Agency’s January report said.
The “relatively rare” disorder was diagnosed in 19,069 servicemembers between 2000 and 2017. However, incidence of the disease “increased rapidly,” from 12.6 cases per 100,000 people in 2000 to 152.8 per 100,000 people in 2017, the study said.
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