Inpatient hospital burden of hepatitis C-diagnosed patients with decompensated cirrhosis

Scott A. McDonald, Hamish Innes, Esther J. Aspinall, Peter C. Hayes, Maryam Alavi, Heather Valerio, David J. Goldberg, Sharon J. Hutchinson

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Background & Aims: To describe the burden on inpatient hospital resources over time from patients diagnosed with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and who have reached the decompensated stage of cirrhosis (DC), as existing estimates of hospital stay in these patients are limited. Methods: A retrospective longitudinal dataset was formed via record-linkage between the national HCV diagnosis database and inpatient/daycase hospitalisation and death registers in Scotland. The study population consisted of HCV-diagnosed patients with a first DC admission in 1996-2013, with follow-up available until 31 May 2014. We investigated and quantified the mean cumulative length of hospital stay, distributions over discharge diagnosis categories, and trends in admission rates. Results: Among our study population (n = 1543), we identified 10 179 admissions with any diagnosis post-first DC admission. Between 1996 and 2013 there was a 16-fold rise in annual total admissions (from 112 to 1791) and an 11-fold rise in hospital stay (719-8045). When restricting minimum possible follow-up to 2 years, DC patients (n = 1312) had an overall admission rate of 7.3 per person-year, and spent on average 43 days (26 days during first 6 months) in hospital; for all liver-related, liver-related other than HCC/DC, and non-liver related only admissions, this was 39, 14, and 5 days respectively. Conclusions: HCV-infected DC patients impose a considerable inpatient hospital burden, mostly from DC- and other liver-related admissions, but also from admissions associated with non-liver comorbidities. Estimates will be useful for monitoring the impact of prevention and treatment, and for computing the cost-effectiveness of new therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1402-1410
Number of pages9
JournalLiver International
Issue number8
Early online date19 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Scotland
  • hospital stay
  • decompensated cirrhosis
  • hepatitis C virus


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