The Liver Meeting
The Liver Meeting
November 11, 2018
2 min read

'Mounting concern' over fatty liver as costs increase 86% over 10 years

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SAN FRANCISCO — Over 10 years, from 2005 to 2014, the number of patients with a diagnosis of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease increased by 260% and costs jumping 86%, according to data presented at The Liver Meeting 2018.

“Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease presents a mounting concern in the United States due to the increasing cost of care, length of stay and mortality rate,” Shil Patel, MD, gastroenterology fellow at CarePoint Health Medical Center, said during his presentation. “Despite medical advances in the treatment of obesity, diabetes and other related comorbidities, NAFLD continues to be a serious health problem.”

Patel and colleagues used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample to perform this retrospective study. They included all adult patients with primary or secondary discharge diagnosis of NAFLD from 2005 to 2014.

He reported that from 2005 to 2014, the number of hospital discharges of NAFLD increased by 260% from 74,621 to 268,605 (P < .001). Within that cohort, women represented 57.7% of the population, although he noted a decreasing trend from 60.4% in 2005 to 56.2% in 2014 (P < .001).

Patients aged between 50 and 64 years comprised the majority of cases (35.8%) and demonstrated an increasing trend, whereas patients aged between 35 and 49 years had a significant decrease in discharges (P < .001).

Patel showed that hospitals in the southern United States accounted for the highest percentages of NAFLD cases at an average of 40.6% of all discharges and had only a slight increase over the years, while northeast hospitals made up the smallest number of cases (16.5%) and decreased steadily (P < .001).

Urban teaching hospitals showed a significant increase in the number of patients admitted but rural and urban nonteaching institutions exhibited a steady decline (P < .001), Patel said. Patients with Medicare and Medicaid health insurance exhibited a growing population, whereas those patients with private insurance demonstrated a downward trend (P < .001), he added.

“Unfortunately, mortality rate grew by 73.4% from 0.94% in 2005 to 1.63% in 2014 (P < .001),” Patel said. “The average length of stay increased from 4.8 days to 5.1 days over this time period (P < .05). And the mean cost of care increased by 86% (adjusted for inflation, P < .001).” – Katrina Altersitz



Patel S, et al. Abstract 36. Presented at: The Liver Meeting 2018; Nov. 9-13, 2018; San Francisco, CA.


Disclosure: Author reports no relevant financial disclosures.