Emergency Department Use Up for Alcohol-Associated Hepatitis

Recent increases seen for visits among younger people and those with higher disease severity
Emergency Department Use Up for Alcohol-Associated Hepatitis
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

THURSDAY, Jan. 18, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- There was an overall increase in emergency department utilization rates for alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH) from 2016 to 2019, according to a study published online Jan. 9 in Alcohol: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Shreya Sengupta, M.D., from the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues used the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample dataset (2016 to 2019) to determine emergency department utilization for AH.

The researchers found that 0.096 percent of emergency department visits during the study period were for AH, 85.0 percent of which required hospitalization. Between 2016 and 2019, the rate of visits for AH (primary and secondary) increased from 85 to 106.8 per 100,000 emergency department visits, but the rate of secondary AH increased more than the rate of primary AH (68.6 to 86.5 versus 16.4 to 20.3 per 100,000 visits). The highest rate of emergency department visits for AH were seen among patients aged 45 to 64 years, which decreased during the study period. However, the rate increased among those aged 25 to 44 years (from 38.5 to 42.9 percent). Disease severity (ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, and acute kidney injury) also increased over time.

"Our finding of temporal increases in emergency department visits for AH despite unaltered total emergency department visits is consistent with previous reports that alcohol consumption and alcohol-associated liver disease continue to increase in the general population," the authors write.

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