Obesity and diabetes are the two major causes of liver disease among people in the United States, according to a study. The study stated that there is a 30 percent rise in Americans being diagnosed with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) during the last three decades.

The research that was published in the medical journal Gut last month looked into the various reasons for an increase in liver disease among the Americans between 1988 and 2016. The researchers found that overweight and high blood sugar were the two main causes for it.

It is worth noting that the obesity rate was all-time high among the U.S. population in 2016. Nearly 93.3 million or 39.8 percent of Americans were affected by it during this period, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported.

There seems to be an association between overweight and diabetes. Several studies have already suggested that people with excess weight gain are at higher risk of developing high blood sugar.

The latest study suggested that obesity and diabetes can eventually lead to what is called NAFLD, which is becoming widespread among the U.S. population. The research team stated that this condition has become very common in the country.

For the study, the research team analyzed data of a nationwide health survey that was held in five cycles from 1988 to 2016. After the analysis, they found that liver disorders due to hepatitis or alcohol consumption were comparatively less when compared with liver diseases caused due to excess weight gain and high blood sugar.

In the study period, the researchers found 20 percent to 28.3 percent rise in NAFLD is driven by obesity and diabetes. During this period, the number of people with excess fat climbed from 22.2 percent to 38.9 percent and the population with high blood sugar rose from 7.2 percent to 13.5 percent.

The research team also found that there was a slight change in the number of people with alcohol-related liver disease, which increased from 0.8 percent to one percent.

The study’s authors even found a little change in hepatitis-related liver disorder during this period. While the proportion of people with Hepatitis B rose from 0.3 percent to 0.4 percent, the number of people affected by hepatitis C – related liver disease dropped from 1.6 percent to 0.9 percent.

“Liver disease in the United States is experiencing a shift away from viral hepatitis to NAFLD,” lead researcher Dr. Zobair Younossi MD, who is the chairman of the department of medicine at Enova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, said.

“This is primarily driven by the epidemic of obesity and diabetes. This is important to patients because NAFLD can be a silent disease for decades,” Younossi added.