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Category: Liver Diseases
Individuals who have had liver panel tests reveal that they have cirrhosis are much more likely to be in poor health and to be disabled, according to a new study published in the journal Hepatology.
The findings are important, the researchers said, because the prevalence of cirrhosis is growing at a rapid rate. The high rates of obesity and an aging population of hepatitis C patients are largely responsible for this trend.
To understand how this may be impacting the population, researchers from the University of Michigan examined Medicare filings of more than 300 cirrhosis patients and compared them to the health records of nearly 1,000 healthy individuals.
The results showed that cirrhosis patients generally reported being in much worse overall health than those without the condition. They had far more co-occurring conditions and were more than twice as likely to utilize the healthcare system, which included physician visits, nursing home stays and hospitalizations.
Given the high numbers of patients who are expected to suffer from the condition in the coming years, the researchers said more needs to be done. They recommended launching preventative strategies and organizing coordinated care systems for these individuals.
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