Outcomes of Young Patients With Alcoholic Cirrhosis After First Hospitalization for Cirrhosis: A Carilion Clinic Experience

Abstract

Background Alcoholic cirrhosis though uncommon in young patients is being reported more frequently and related mortality is also increasing. Study aim To evaluate risk factors associated with mortality among young patients (<40 years) with alcoholic cirrhosis and older patients (> 40 years old) after their first hospitalization in a tertiary referral academic center. Methods Carilion clinic's electronic medical record (EPIC) was queried to identify all alcoholic patients hospitalized for the first time with either a new diagnosis of alcoholic cirrhosis or a prior diagnosis of this from 2008 to 2016 with follow-up through June 2018. Information on demographics, comorbidities, lab values, procedures, and mortality was extracted. The cumulative risks of long-term mortality after the first hospitalization were estimated using Kaplan-Meier curves and compared between the two groups; those < 40 years of age and those > 40 years of age. Demographic data, lab values, and comorbidities associated with cirrhosis were assessed using multivariable Cox proportional hazard analysis to determine risk factors associated with long-term mortality. Results We identified 65 young patients out of a total of 325 patients admitted for the first time for alcoholic cirrhosis (mean age: 34.6 +/- 4.7 yrs, 72.3% males, 74.4% current alcohol users, 52.3% current smokers, 12.6% current illicit drugs users). The one, three, and five-year cumulative mortality after the first hospitalization was 21.1 %, 31.1%, and 49.7% respectively. The median survival for young patients was longer as compared to the older patients (p<0.001); likely related to high early mortality in older patients who had many other comorbidities. On multivariate Cox proportional hazard analysis, increased age [hazard ratio (HR) 1.03; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.01-1.05], neutrophils-to-lymphocytes ratio (NLR) at first hospital discharge (HR 1.02; 95% CI, 1.01-1.04), the presence of encephalopathy (HR, 1.93; 95% CI, 1.06-3.55), and initial MELD (model for end-stage liver disease) score (HR, 1.13; 95% CI, 1.08-1.19) were associated with increased risk of mortality. Though the majority of patients endorsed current alcohol and tobacco use before the admission, it was not significantly associated with mortality. Conclusions Five-year cumulative mortality for patients < 40 years of age with alcoholic cirrhosis after their first hospitalization is 49.7%. Old age, most recent NLR, hepatic encephalopathy, and MELD score on admission were associated with increased late mortality.

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Keywords
alcoholic liver disease, young cirrhosis, alcoholic cirrhosis
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