Trends of Cirrhosis-related Mortality in the USA during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Journal of clinical and translational hepatology Yeo, Y. H., He, X., Lv, F., Zhao, Y., Liu, Y., Yang, J. D., Zu, J., Ji, F., Nguyen, M. H. 2023; 11 (3): 751-756


Immunocompromised status and interrupted routine care may render patients with cirrhosis vulnerable to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. A nationwide dataset that includes more than 99% of the decedents in the U.S. between April 2012 and September 2021 was used. Projected age-standardized mortality during the pandemic were estimated according to prepandemic mortality rates, stratified by season. Excess deaths were determined by estimating the difference between observed and projected mortality rates. A temporal trend analysis of observed mortality rates was also performed in 0.83 million decedents with cirrhosis between April 2012 and September 2021 was included. Following an increasing trend of cirrhosis-related mortality before the pandemic, with a semiannual percentage change (SAPC) of 0.54% [95% confidence interval (CI): (0.0-1.0%), p=0.036], a precipitous increase with seasonal variation occurred during the pandemic (SAPC 5.35, 95% CI: 1.9-8.9, p=0.005). Significantly increased mortality rates were observed in those with alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD), with a SAPC of 8.44 (95% CI: 4.3-12.8, p=0.001) during the pandemic. All-cause mortality of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease rose steadily across the entire study period with a SAPC of 6.79 (95% CI: 6.3-7.3, p<0.001). The decreasing trend of HCV-related mortality was reversed during the pandemic, while there was no significant change in HBV-related deaths. While there was significant increase in COVID-19-related deaths, more than 55% of the excess deaths were the indirect impact of the pandemic. We observed an alarming increase in cirrhosis-related deaths during the pandemic especially for ALD, with evidence in both direct and indirect impact. Our findings have implications on formulating policies for patients with cirrhosis.

View details for DOI 10.14218/JCTH.2022.00313

View details for PubMedID 36969898

View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10037514