Disparities in Mortality and Health Care Utilization for 460,851 Hospitalized Patients with Cirrhosis and Hepatic Encephalopathy

Link to article at PubMed

Dig Dis Sci. 2020 Sep 14. doi: 10.1007/s10620-020-06582-y. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a common cause of hospitalizations and readmissions for patients with decompensated cirrhosis. In this study, we proposed to investigate recent trends in in-hospital mortality and utilization for patients with cirrhosis and HE and to explore the effect of various sociodemographic, hospital, and clinical factors on mortality.

METHODS: We performed an observational study using serial cross-sectional data from the 2009-2013 National Inpatient Sample to examine hospitalizations of patients with cirrhosis and HE. We collected data on in-hospital mortality, length of stay, and total hospital costs. We used negative binomial regression and logistic regression to investigate trends in utilization and multilevel modeling to examine the association between sociodemographic, hospital, and clinical factors and in-hospital mortality.

RESULTS: The annual total number of hospitalizations from HE has steadily risen from 75,475 in 2009 to 106,915 in 2013 (P < 0.001). Annual in-hospital mortality (11.9-10.2%, P < 0.001) and length of stay (7.5-7.1 days, P = 0.015) have significantly decreased over this timeframe. The presence of septicemia, GI bleeding, and being uninsured were associated with 29.6%, 16.7%, and 15.7% of in-hospital death, respectively. Patients hospitalized in the South, Medicare beneficiaries, and patients hospitalized in the Midwest had a 9.8%, 9.2%, and 8.9% chance of dying in the hospital.

CONCLUSION: The number of hospitalizations from HE has increased while in-hospital mortality has concomitantly decreased from 2009 to 2013. Both traditional risk factors (sepsis and GI bleeding) strongly influence the probability of in-hospital death. However, disparities in mortality by sociodemographic factors (insurance status and geography) also exist.

PMID:32926262 | DOI:10.1007/s10620-020-06582-y

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