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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Apr;34(4):747-754. doi: 10.1111/jgh.14513. Epub 2018 Nov 13.

Incidence, inhospital mortality, and readmission among patients with alcoholic hepatitis in Korea: A nationwide study.

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Department of Health Policy and Management, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, CHA Gangnam Medical Center, CHA University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul Metropolitan Government Seoul National University Boramae Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Internal Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Institute of Health and Environment, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.



Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) ranks among the most costly diseases in South Korea. However, accurate hospitalization incidence rates, mortality rates, and contributing factors have not been investigated in South Korea. This study aimed to provide the nationwide incidence of hospitalization, inhospital mortality, and readmission rates for South Korean patients with AH.


Using the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment service database, a total of 39 800 inpatient cases from 2008 to 2012 were identified based on the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision diagnosis code for AH (K70.1). Standardized hospitalization incidence and mortality rates were calculated, and logistic regression analysis was performed to identify risk factors for inhospital mortality and readmission. Follow-up data for those admitted in 2008 were collected to assess readmissions.


The standardized incidence rate for AH hospitalization per 105 person/year decreased from 19 in 2008 to 14 in 2012 (P = 0.001). The annual inhospital mortality rate ranged from 0.2% to 0.5%. Inhospital mortality was significantly higher in older patients (odds ratio [OR], 1.36) and those with cirrhosis (OR, 4.40). The readmission rate for patients admitted in 2008 was 34.0%. Male sex (OR, 1.21) and low economic status (OR, 2.35) were significantly associated with readmission, whereas older age (OR, 0.96), cirrhosis (OR, 0.77), and urban residency (OR, 0.68) were inversely associated with readmission.


This study captured a 5-year epidemiologic period in South Korea of patients with AH to reflect the real burden of AH and to provide valuable information to policy-makers assessing public health priorities.


alcoholic hepatitis; hospitalization; incidence; mortality; readmission

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