Mortality Among Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B Infection: The Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS)
Bixler D, Zhong Y, Ly KN, Moorman AC, Spradling PR, Teshale EH, Rupp LB, Gordon SC, Boscarino JA, Schmidt MA, Daida YG, Holmberg SD. Mortality Among Patients With Chronic Hepatitis B Infection: The Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS). Clinical infectious diseases 2019; 68(6):956-963.
Clinical infectious diseases
BACKGROUND: According to death certificates, approximately 1800 persons die from hepatitis B annually in the United States; however, this figure may underestimate true mortality from chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
METHODS: We analyzed data from CHB patients seen in the Chronic Hepatitis Cohort Study (CHeCS) between 1 January 2006 and 31 December 2013. We compared overall and cause-specific death rates and mean ages at death between CHeCS CHB decedents and U.S. decedents from the Multiple Cause of Death (MCOD) file.
RESULTS: Of 4389 CHB patients followed for a mean of 5.38 years, 492 (11%) CHB patients died after a mean follow-up of 3.00 years. Compared to survivors, decedents were older, more likely to be White (40.6%), African-American (27.1%), or male (74.2%); and more likely to have had cirrhosis (59.8%), diabetes (27.2%), alcohol abuse (17.7%), hepatocellular carcinoma (17.5%), or a liver transplant (5.7%); whereas survivors were more likely to be Asian (48.8%; all P < .001). CHB patients died at an average age of 59.8 years-14 years younger than the general U.S. population-and at higher rates for all causes (relative risk [RR] = 1.85, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.851-1.857) and liver-related causes (RR = 15.91, 95% CI, 15.81-16.01). Only 19% of CHB decedents and 40% of those dying of liver disease had hepatitis B reported on their death certificates.
CONCLUSIONS: Compared to the general population, CHB patients die at younger ages and higher rates from all causes and liver-related causes. Death certificates underrepresent the true mortality from CHB.