WASHINGTON — In this exclusive video from The Liver Meeting 2017, Jessica L. Mellinger, MD, from the department of Internal Medicine-Hepatology at the University of Michigan, discusses the increasing rates of alcohol use disorders and alcoholic cirrhosis in the U.S.
“What we found was that the rate of increase in the United States from about 2009 to 2015 for alcoholic cirrhosis is 50%. That’s roughly 100 patients in every 100,000 privately insured patients having alcohol-related cirrhosis,” she told Healio Gastroenterology and Liver Disease. “We also found these patients to be sicker at presentation, so they had more symptoms, and that over time those symptoms also increase compared to patients who didn’t have alcohol-related cirrhosis.”
Additional data from Mellinger and colleague’s recent study showed that patients who presented with alcoholic cirrhosis had more liver disease symptoms and hospital admissions and readmissions compared with those without alcoholic cirrhosis.
The total cost for alcoholic cirrhosis in the U.S. is close to $10 million and accounted for more than half the total health care costs in the study while those with alcoholic cirrhosis only made up about one-third of the patients.
“The other major point out of all of our data is that this is most likely the best-case scenario,” Mellinger said. “Because we looked at this in privately insured patients who often have better access to health care — they’re employed, they may be healthier — we expect that should we look outside of this population that patients who are on Medicare and Medicaid, that we might find that this rate goes up even more.”
Mellinger JL, et al. Abstract 169. Presented at: The Liver Meeting; Oct. 20-24, 2017; Washington, D.C.
Disclosure: Mellinger reports no relevant financial disclosures.