Among Medicare patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most important cause of HCC and an independent predictor of HCC, a new study found. Researchers sought to assess the recent trends in mortality and health care utilization of HCC in this population. They found:
- 13,648 Medicare patients (mean age 70 years) with HCC were included in the cohort.
- NAFLD was the most common cause of HCC in the inpatient and outpatient, followed by hepatitis C virus (HCV).
- Between 2005 and 2014, HCC rate per 100,000 Medicare recipients increased from 46.3 to 62.8.
- However, overall 1-year mortality decreased from 46.2% to 42.1%.
- Total charges increased from $67,679 to $99,420 for inpatients and from $11,933 to $32,084 for outpatients.
Hester D, Golabi P, Paik J, Younossi I, Mishra A, Younossi Z. Among Medicare patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most common etiology and cause of mortality. [Published online ahead of print January 21, 2019]. J Clin Gastroenterol. doi:10.1097/MCG.0000000000001172.