JAMA Netw Open. 2023 Jul 3;6(7):e2324539. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2023.24539.
IMPORTANCE: Patients with decompensated cirrhosis are hospitalized for acute management with temporizing and lifesaving procedures. Published data to inform intervention development in this area are more than a decade old, and it is not clear whether there have been improvements in disparities in the receipt of these procedures over time.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the associations of race and ethnicity with receipt of procedures to treat decompensated cirrhosis over time in the US.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This retrospective cross-sectional study analyzed National Inpatient Sample data on cirrhosis admissions among patients with portal hypertension-related complications from 2009 to 2018. All hospital discharges for individuals aged 18 years and older from 2009 to 2018 were assessed for inclusion. Admissions were included if they contained at least 1 cirrhosis-related International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-10-CM) code and at least 1 cirrhosis-related complication ICD-9-CM or ICD-10-CM code (ie, ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, variceal hemorrhage [VH], and hepatorenal syndrome [HRS]). Data were analyzed from January to June 2022.
EXPOSURE: Hospitalization for decompensated cirrhosis.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The outcomes of interest were trends in the odds ratios (ORs) for receiving procedures (upper endoscopy, transjugular portosystemic shunt [TIPS], hemodialysis, and liver transplantation [LT]) for decompensated cirrhosis and mortality by race and ethnicity, modeled over time. Multivariable logistic regression was used to assess these outcomes.
RESULTS: Among 717 580 admissions (median [IQR] age, 58 [52-67] years), 345 644 patients (9.8%) were Black, 623 991 patients (17.6%) were Hispanic, and 2 340 031 patients (47.4%) were White. Based on the modeled trends, by 2018, there were no significant differences by race or ethnicity in the odds of receiving upper endoscopy for VH. However, Black patients remained less likely than White patients to undergo TIPS for VH (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.47-0.62) and ascites (OR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.31-0.38). The disparity in receipt of LT improved for Black and Hispanic patients over the study period; however, by 2018, both groups remained less likely to undergo LT than their White counterparts (Black: OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.61-0.70; Hispanic: OR, 0.74; 95% CI, 0.70-0.78). The odds of death in Black and Hispanic patients declined over the study period but remained higher in Black patients than White patients in 2018 (OR, 1.08; 95% CI, 1.05-1.11).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: In this cross-sectional study of individuals hospitalized with decompensated cirrhosis, there were racial and ethnic disparities in receipt of complex lifesaving procedures and in mortality that persisted over time.