Navigation Links
High rates of disability and health care use found in older Americans with cirrhosis

Older patients with cirrhosis have significant functional disability, require twice the amount of informal caregiving, and contribute added strain on the health care system, according to U-M research published in Hepatology.

Given the increase in obesity and aging of those with hepatitis C (HCV), researchers expect the prevalence of cirrhosis to climb among older Americans..

Cirrhosis is a chronic condition that causes the liver to slowly deteriorate, with scar tissue replacing healthy tissue and impairing liver function. Studies have shown that non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) ranging in severity from fatty liver to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) to cirrhosis has become the most prevalent cause of chronic liver disease worldwide, affecting up to 30 percent of the general population and found in 75 percent of obese individuals. The Action Plan for Liver Disease Research estimates that 5.5 million Americans have chronic liver disease or cirrhosis, which is one of the most expensive digestive diseases costing $1.6 billion annually in healthcare costs and lost work days.

"With the obesity epidemic contributing to a rise in NAFLD cases along with the aging HCV patient population, cirrhosis among the elderly is expected to become increasingly prevalent," says Mina Rakoski, M.D., a transplant Hepatology fellow in the University of Michigan Medical School's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology and lead author of the study.

"Therefore, understanding the health and economic burden on older cirrhotic patients, their caregivers, and the health system is extremely important."

Rakoski and U-M colleagues identified 317 patients with cirrhosis and 951 age-matched individuals without the disease from the Health and Retirement Study and Medicare claims files. Researchers assessed patients' health status and informal caregiving, measured by hours of care and associated cost.

Study results reveal that patients with cirrhosis were more likely to be Hispanic, have less education, and have lower net worth. Older cirrhotic patients had worse self-reported health status and more medical co-morbidities compared to those without the disease. Utilization of health care services, including physician visits, nursing home stays and hospitalizations, was more than double in those with cirrhosis compared to non-cirrhotic peers.

Greater functional disability was also significant among those with cirrhosis as measured by activities of daily living and instrumental activities of daily living. Given their inability to perform common everyday tasks, it is not surprising that informal caregiving was much higher in individuals with cirrhosis twice the number of informal caregiving hours per week at an annual cost of $4,700 per person compared to their elderly counterparts without the disease.

"Our population-based study confirms that cirrhosis in the elderly poses a significant burden to patients and their caregivers in terms of health-related and economic costs," says Rakoski. "A greater focus on comprehensive delivery of patient care by involving caregivers and improving care coordination will help to optimize disease management for older cirrhotic patients."

The authors recommend that future studies should investigate the impact of functional disability on outcomes such as hospital readmission and mortality in older patients with cirrhosis.

Contact: Mary F. Masson
University of Michigan Health System

Related medicine news :

1. Media Alert: Abvio Demonstrates Innovative iPhone 3G/3GS Fitness Applications for Running, Cycling and Walking at Macworld 2010
2. Dementia Rates Escalate as Brain Capacity Diminishes with Age
3. Blue Cross Claim That 39% Premium Hikes Due Only to Escalating Cost of Health Care Trigger Calls for Regulation of Rates
4. Protecting patients: Study shows that Johns Hopkins flu vaccination rates twice national average
5. Allegheny General Hospital Study Demonstrates Safety and Potential Efficacy of Oral Allergy Treatment
6. Breast Cancer Stats Differ Racially Despite Similar Mammogram Rates
7. High Rates of Childhood Leukemia Seen in Iraq Province
8. International study confirms doubling of childhood leukemia rates in southern Iraq
9. Dips in Breast Cancer Rates Seen Most in Affluent Women
10. The Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology's Museum of Vision Celebrates 30 Years of Preserving Ophthalmic Heritage
11. WellPoint/Blue Cross Liver Transplant Denial Trial Begins Today, Illustrates Need for Toughening of White House Reform Plan
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... Representative. As a franchise owner, Somu now offers travelers, value and care based ... packages, private cruise sales, as well as, cabin upgrades and special amenities such ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... WorldCare International, ... in the 61st annual Employee Benefits Conference. The Employee Benefits Conference was hosted ... 8th through Wednesday, November 11th, 2015. The conference was held at the Hawaii ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... BROOK, Ill. (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 ... ... larger and potentially more aggressive than those found on mammography, according to a ... MRI findings of additional cancers not seen on mammography may necessitate a change ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... Medical Solutions, one of ... its stellar workplace culture with the company’s Cincinnati office being named a finalist ... office was named a finalist in Cincinnati Business Courier’s 13th annual Greater Cincinnati ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... On November 10, 2015, Bohrer Brady, LLC ... Connecticut on behalf of a home health care worker who provided companionship services for ... health care workers employed by Humana, Inc., Humana at Home, Inc., and SeniorBridge Family ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015  Linden Care, LLC, a ... treatment outcomes for patients suffering from chronic pain, said ... a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining Express Scripts from ... companies. --> --> ... of its legal options. --> ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... AVIV, Israel , November 25, 2015 ... (NASDAQ: KTOV ) (TASE: KTOV), a biopharmaceutical company ... simultaneous treatment of various clinical conditions, today announced the ... 3,158,900 American Depository Shares ( ADSs ), each representing ... purchase up to 3,158,900 ADSs. The ADSs and warrants ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Endo International plc (NASDAQ: ... De Silva , President and CEO, will discuss corporate updates ... in New York on Wednesday, December ... . Click on Investor Relations, and then the link to ... the presentation,s start time to visit the site and download ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: