1 Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Alameda Health System - Highland Hospital, Oakland, CA, USA.
BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Cirrhosis is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Early readmission to the hospital after discharge increases the clinical and economic burden of cirrhosis patients. We aim to evaluate the prevalence and predictors of early hospital readmission among cirrhosis patients among an underserved safety-net health system.
All consecutive adults with cirrhosis seen at the gastroenterology clinics at our safety-net health system from 2014 to 2016 were retrospectively evaluate to determine rates of 30-day readmission after hospital discharge. Comparison of readmission rates between groups used chi-square testing. Overall predictors of 30-day hospital readmission were evaluated using multivariate logistic regression models, with variables included in the model selected a priori based on clinical significance to the outcome.
Among 230 cirrhosis patients (63.5% men, 80.6% were nonwhite minorities), 27.1% had chronic hepatitis C virus; 16.0%, chronic hepatitis B virus; 34.2%, alcoholic cirrhosis; and 8.0%, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis. Overall 30-day hospital readmission rates were 31.3%. There was a trend towards higher rates of 30-day readmission in men than in women (23.9% vs. 7.4%, P = 0.075) and trend towards higher readmission in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic whites (35.3% vs. 14.3%, P = 0.093). On multivariate regression, hepatic encephalopathy was the strongest positive predictor of early 30-day hospital readmission (odds ratio 4.40, 95% confidence interval 1.25-7.28, P = 0.02).
Among underserved safety-net cirrhosis patients, 30-day hospital readmission rates were over 30%. Given that presence of hepatic encephalopathy was most strongly correlated with readmissions, targeted interventions to improve management of hepatic encephalopathy may have the greatest impact on improving cirrhosis-related outcomes.