Background Safety-net hospitals provide care for racially/ethnically diverse and disadvantaged urban populations. Their hospitalized patients with cirrhosis are relatively understudied and may be vulnerable to poor outcomes and racial/ethnic disparities. Aims To examine the outcomes of patients with cirrhosis hospitalized at regionally diverse safety-net hospitals and the impact of race/ethnicity. Methods A study of patients with cirrhosis hospitalized at 4 safety-net hospitals in 2012 was conducted. Demographic, clinical factors, and outcomes were compared between centers and racial/ethnic groups. Study endpoints included mortality and 30-day readmission. Results In 2012, 733 of 1,212 patients with cirrhosis were hospitalized for liver-related indications (median age 55 years, 65% male). The cohort was racially diverse (43% White, 25% black, 22% Hispanic, 3% Asian) with cirrhosis related to alcohol and viral hepatitis in 635 (87%) patients. Patients were hospitalized mainly for ascites (35%), hepatic encephalopathy (20%) and gastrointestinal bleeding (GIB) (17%). Fifty-four (7%) patients died during hospitalization and 145 (21%) survivors were readmitted within 30 days. Mortality rates ranged from 4 to 15% by center (p = .007) and from 3 to 10% by race/ethnicity (p = .03), but 30-day readmission rates were similar. Mortality was associated with Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD), acute-on-chronic liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, sodium and white blood cell count. Thirty-day readmission was associated with MELD and Charlson Comorbidity Index >4, with lower risk for GIB. We did not observe geographic or racial/ethnic differences in hospital outcomes in the risk-adjusted analysis. Conclusions Hospital mortality and 30-day readmission in patients with cirrhosis at safety-net hospitals are associated with disease severity and comorbidities, with lower readmissions in patients admitted for GIB. Despite geographic and racial/ethnic differences in hospital mortality, these factors were not independently associated with mortality.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)