UA’s Nosotros program aims to bring awareness to liver disease in Hispanic communities

Nosotros program helps people with liver disease
Published: Apr. 24, 2023 at 6:28 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) - There’s a big push to bring awareness to Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Pima County. The disease is preventable if you know what to look for.

“Some of our work has shown that approximately 50% of individuals in Pima County, if you identify as a Mexican origin, perhaps have NAFLD,” Dr. David Garcia, associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Public Health, said.

“Our over-arching program really has been a vehicle for introducing the community to cancer prevention control research,” Garcia said of the Nosotros program.

The program is aimed at fighting health disparities facing Hispanic communities in southern Arizona.

“I have really focused our efforts on reducing chronic disease in the community,” Garcia said.

It all comes down to a quick test that gives results in as little as 10 minutes. The test features a noninvasive FibroScan that tests for fibrosis and steatosis.

The program has had lots of success so far, since beginning eight years ago, running more than 700 tests just last year alone.

Garcia said NAFLD is found in 50% of Hispanic people in Pima County. If you factor in other southern Arizona counties that number goes up to 60%.

“NAFLD is a highly preventable disease. It’s largely influenced by our lifestyle, diet, physical activity and in some cases our body weight,” he said.

Garcia said his program offers free tests to anyone who wants one and even takes the machine out into the community.

“You’re given a choice. If you have not gone too far across the spectrum it is reversible in changes in diet and physical activity,” he said.

If you’d like a test, you can call 520-282-2785 to schedule. You can also learn more here.