Individuals with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease/non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NAFLD/NASH) see their health care costs rise dramatically after being diagnosed with compensated cirrhosis (the less severe form of the advanced liver disease), MedPage Today reports.

Researchers analyzed medical claims data from a German health care database covering 2011 to 2016. They identified individuals diagnosed with NAFLD/NASH and then determined whether they were later diagnosed with compensated cirrhosis. The study cohort members were characterized as “CC progressors” if they progressed to end-stage liver disease (ESLD) within one year of their cirrhosis diagnosis or “CC nonprogressors” if they did not progress to ESLD within that period.

Findings were presented at the 52nd International Liver Congress in Paris.

All told, the study authors analyzed data on 800 people with compensated cirrhosis and NAFLD/NASH who had an average age of 68. Fifty-eight percent were men. A total of 555 were CCC nonprogressors and 245 were CC progressors. These two groups had respective average ages of 66 and 72 years.

Compared with the year leading up to their cirrhosis diagnosis, the year following the diagnosis saw a 169 percent higher health care bill among CC progressors and a 132 percent increase in health care costs among the CC nonprogressors.

Forty-six percent of the CC progressors died compared with 7.6 percent of the nonprogressors.

To read the MedPage Today article, click here.