National economic factors associated with liver-related mortality trends
Factors such as national health expenditure and gross domestic product were associated with increased liver-related mortality, according to research published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
William Alazawi, MA(Cantab), MB, BChir, PhD, MRCP, of Barts Liver Centre and Queen Mary University of London, and colleagues wrote that there is a growing understanding of how social and economic factors can act as determinates of health.
“Gross domestic product per capita, national health expenditure and unemployment are negatively associated with mortality trends in heart disease, stroke and [chronic obstructive pulmonary disease],” they wrote. “Understanding the degree to which social and economic determinants of health promote the development of liver diseases can add to our current understanding and lead to targeted intervention strategies from governments and policy makers to address the major determinants that drive liver mortality.”
Researchers analyzed data from international health and economic databases to investigate the changes in liver-related mortality from 1985 to 2015 and explored which socioeconomic factors might influence those trends.
They obtained data on liver-related mortality from WHO, as well as information of alcohol consumption, health expenditure per capita, GDP, and national unemployment status.
Over 30 years, the mean liver-related deaths per 100,00 persons increased from 23.8 to 26.1 among men and from 9.7 to 11.9 among women.
Investigators found that known risk factors, such as male sex, high alcohol consumption and obesity, as well as indicators of national wealth, government health expenditure, and GDP were independently associated with increased liver-related mortality.
“In addition to established risk factors, this study identifies important addressable economic factors associated with liver mortality trends,” Alazawi and colleagues wrote. “In order to positively impact future liver mortality, health care professionals and policy makers may wish to consider the role of economic investment in measures to reduce alcohol consumption and metabolic syndrome.”