1 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Alameda Health System-Highland Hospital, Oakland.
2 Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.
The aim of this study was to understand the burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) among hospitalized patients in the United States.
A major driver of the rapidly increasing US clinical and economic burden of NAFLD is attributed to inpatient health care resource utilization.
We performed a cross-sectional study of the 2007 to 2014 Nationwide Inpatient Sample. A total of 481,122 hospitalizations in patients with NAFLD were identified using ICD-9 codes after excluding other etiologies of chronic liver disease. We analyzed survey-weighted annual trends in national estimates of hospitalizations in patients with NAFLD, stratified by metabolic comorbidities, cirrhosis, and other liver-related complications. Annual trends in total hospitalization charges were inflation adjusted to 2014 USD.
From 2007 to 2014, hospitalizations in patients with NAFLD increased by 83.4% (42,060 to 77,143, P<0.0001), and the proportion of total hospitalizations represented by patients with NAFLD increased by 104.4% (6.34 to 13.0 per 1000 hospitalizations). During this time, there was a 159% increase in total inpatient hospitalization charges in patients with NAFLD($7.7 billion in 2007 to $19.9 billion in 2014, P<0.001). This increasing clinical and economic burden was observed across all metabolic comorbidities and liver complications evaluated among hospitalizations in patients with NAFLD.
With the rising prevalence of NAFLD in the United States, the inpatient clinical and economic burden of NAFLDis also rapidly rising. In 2014, total estimated national hospitalization charges in patients with NAFLD reached nearly $20 billion, with metabolic comorbidities and liver-related complications being major contributors to this rising burden.