It can be difficult to understand the difference within the spectrum of metabolic dysfunction-associated steatotic liver disease (MASLD)
MASLD is an umbrella term for conditions caused by the build-up of extra fat in the liver that is not caused by alcohol intake2-4. As steatotic liver disease progresses, the liver can become inflamed (hepatitis) and damaged, which can lead to fibrosis, or scarring of the liver. When people with MASLD reach this stage it is known as metabolic dysfunction-associated steatohepatitis (MASH), which is the most severe form of MASLD.
After years of damage due to fibrosis, MASH can lead to cirrhosis, which is severe scarring of the liver that can lead to further complications such as loss of liver function, liver failure and liver cancer2-6.
The exact cause of MASLD and MASH is not known but it is well understood that obesity, type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes, high levels of ‘bad’ (LDL) cholesterol and metabolic syndrome are risk factors that make people more likely to develop these conditions1-3,6,7.
With the rising prevalence of obesity and type 2 diabetes, both strong risk factors for MASH, there is a growing number of people living with this serious chronic disease today1-3,6,8.