S5 – E22.3 – Healthy Livers, Healthy Lives: Challenges and Promise in Building a Global MASLD Health Policy

S5 - E22.3 - Healthy Livers, Healthy Lives: Challenges and Promise in Building a Global MASLD Health Policy
Healthy Livers, Healthy Lives Chair Jeff Lazarus and the Surfers discuss some specific challenges in building global MASLD policy and some local successes.

Healthy Livers, Healthy Lives Chair Jeff Lazarus joins Jörn Schattenberg, Louise Campbell and Roger Green to discuss some of the specific structural challenges that confront global MASLD public policy, along with some promising local activities.

Louise observes that, in her experience, primary care practitioners appreciate the support that specialist nurses can bring in educating providers about the disease and patients about how to better support themselves. Jeff responds that these are good findings as individual cases, but to make major changes in the field, we need large-scale, top-down innovations. One thing that, oddly, works in MASLD’s favor is that most patients with advanced MASLD will have concomitant diseases requiring involvement with other specialties. Today, teams are looking at system issues to find the largest, most intractable structural problems so that solutions can emerge. After that, “we’ll start to see bigger and faster improvements in the field.”

Jeff talks about several positive things happening in New York. First, he mentions a New York Times article about junk food and how manufacturers target aggressive marketing to poor and marginalized populations, with the net result that these populations have processed and ultra-processed foods making up a large share of their diets. Also, a “visionary” health commissioner is creating a program, Healthy NYC, with the goal of increasing life expectancy by reducing specific diseases.MASLD is not part of the effort today but with clinician support. we can get there over time.

Earlier, Jeff had commented about the ease of implementing the FIB-4 test. Now, Roger raises the issue again, this time mentioning that SurfingMASH guests from ex-US markets have mentioned that ALT is not a standard test in their countries and asks Jeff if MASLD is making progress here. Jeff discusses the debate around this issue.

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