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 20 February 2018

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News

Economic burden of chronic liver disease in the United States

A study published recently in the Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology examines direct and indirect economic burden of chronic liver disease in the United States.

News image

Chronic liver is a major public health concern. 

Dr Zobair Younossi and colleagues from Virginia, USA assessed its effects on quality of life and work productivity, as well as its economic burden in the United States.

The research team performed a cross-sectional study of data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). 

The team extracted participants’ sociodemographic parameters and medical histories. 

Subjects with chronic liver disease were identified based on Clinical Classification Software codes. 

MEPS participants were compared between those with and without chronic live disease, and then between employed and unemployed patients with chronic liver disease. 

The presence of liver cancer had the most profound impact on health care expenditures
Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Outcomes were quality-of-life scores, employment, and health care use.

The team collected data from 230,406 adult participants in the MEPS.

The researchers found that 1846 had current chronic liver disease. 

Individuals with chronic liver disease were less likely to be employed, were not working owing to illness/disability, lost more work because of disability, and had more health care use, producing greater health care expenses. 

The research team found that patients with chronic liver disease also had more comorbidities and worse self-reported general and mental health status, and reported more health-related limitations in their daily activities than individuals without chronic liver disease. 

They also indicated more psychologic distress and depressive symptoms and had a lower quality of life and health utility scores. 

The researchers found that after adjustment for sociodemographic factors and comorbidities, the presence of chronic liver disease was an important predictor of unemployment, annual health care expenditure, and impairment in all aspects of health-related quality of life. 

In patients with chronic liver disease, the presence of liver cancer had the most profound impact on health care expenditures, and physical health.

Dr Younossi's team concludes, "In a cross-sectional analysis of MEPS participants, we associated chronic liver disease with large economic and quality-of-life burdens."

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017: 15I(5): 759–766.e5
04 July 2017

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