Real-world Comorbidity Burden, Health Care Utilization, and Costs of Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis Patients With Advanced Liver Diseases

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Journal of clinical gastroenterology


GOALS: This study evaluates the real-world comorbidity burden, health care resource utilization (HRU), and costs among nonalcoholic fatty liver disease/nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) patients with advanced liver diseases [compensated cirrhosis (CC), decompensated cirrhosis (DCC), liver transplantation (LT), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC)].

BACKGROUND: NAFLD/NASH is a leading cause of liver diseases.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Adult NAFLD/NASH patients were identified retrospectively from MarketScan Commercial claims (2006-2016). Following initial NAFLD/NASH diagnosis, advanced liver diseases were identified using the first diagnosis as their index date. Mean annual all-cause HRU and costs (2016 USD) were reported. Adjusted costs were estimated through generalized linear models. Cumulative costs were illustrated for patient subsets with variable follow-up for each stage.RESULTS: Within the database, 485,774 NAFLD/NASH patients met eligibility criteria. Of these, 93.4% (453,564) were NAFLD/NASH patients without advanced liver diseases, 1.6% (7665) with CC, 3.3% (15,833) with DCC, 0.1% (696) with LT, and 0.1% (428) with HCC. Comorbidity burden was high and increased as patients progressed through liver disease severity stages. Compared with NAFLD/NASH without advanced liver diseases (adjusted costs: $23,860), the annual cost of CC, DCC, LT, and HCC were 1.22, 5.64, 8.27, and 4.09 times higher [adjusted costs: $29,078, $134,448, $197,392, and $97,563 (P<0.0001)]. Inpatient admissions significantly drove increasing HRU.

CONCLUSION: Study findings suggest the need for early identification and effective management of NAFLD/NASH patients to minimize comorbidity burden, HRU, and costs in the privately insured US population.

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ePub ahead of print