Background: Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the fastest-growing chronic liver disease. However, little is known about NAFLD inpatient resource utilization and clinical outcomes. Aims: The aim of this study was to quantify inpatient NAFLD encounters using patient-level data over time. Methods: This was a retrospective analysis of de-identified data for NAFLD patients from the California Patient Discharge Database from 2006 to 2013. NAFLD patients were identified by ICD9 codes 571.40, 571.41, 571.49, 571.8, and 571.9. Results: NAFLD patients (n = 91,558) were predominantly female (60%), 45–65 years old (44%), and white (53%). Inpatient encounters increased from 8153 in 2006 to 16,457 in 2013 and were associated with a 207% increase in charges ($686 million in 2006 to $1.42 billion in 2013) and average increase in charges of 9.8% per year adjusting for inflation. Comorbidities (obesity, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular disease, other cancer, and renal disease) increased significantly over time (all P < 0.05). From 2006 to 2011, there were 11,463 deaths (1849 for liver-related hospitalizations) (mean follow-up 4.00 ± 2.13 years). The most significant predictors of death were age > 75 (aHR 3.9, P < 0.0001), male gender (aHR 1.10, P < 0.0001), white race (aHR 1.2, P < 0.0001), decompensated cirrhosis (aHR 2.1, P < 0.0001), and cancer other than HCC (aHR 3.2, P < 0.0001). Within the liver-related hospitalization cohort, mortality predictors were similar, except for Hispanic race (aHR 0.92, P < 0.0096) and renal disease (aHR 1.50, P < 0.0001). Conclusions: The number of NAFLD inpatient encounters increased significantly from 2006 to 2013, as did the inflation-adjusted inpatient charges. The most significant predictors of death were non-liver cancers (HR 3.11, P < 0.0001, CI 3.06–3.16) and age > 75 years (HR 3.94, P < 0.0001, HR 3.86–4.03).
- Economic burden of NAFLD
- NAFLD comorbidities and mortality
- NAFLD inpatient hospitalizations