Abstract WMP60: Association Between Liver Cirrhosis and Stroke in a Nationally Representative Cohort

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Introduction: Liver cirrhosis is characterized by a coagulopathy associated with both hemorrhagic and thrombotic complications. However, the risk of stroke - hemorrhagic and ischemic - in patients with cirrhosis has not been rigorously assessed.Methods: We performed a retrospective cohort study of Medicare beneficiaries ≥66 years of age using a 5% sample of inpatient and outpatient claims from 2008-2014. Our predictor was liver cirrhosis, defined by presence of at least two ICD-9-CM inpatient or outpatient claims for liver cirrhosis or its complications, a validated algorithm previously used to study cirrhosis in Medicare beneficiaries. The primary outcome was stroke, and the secondary outcomes were ischemic stroke, intracerebral hemorrhage, and subarachnoid hemorrhage. Outcomes were defined by validated ICD-9-CM algorithms. Patients were censored at the time of an outcome, death, or on December 31, 2014. We used survival analysis to compare stroke incidence in patients with and without liver cirrhosis. Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to evaluate the association between cirrhosis and stroke while adjusting for demographics and established stroke risk factors.Results: Among the 1,564,277 beneficiaries in our sample, we identified 10,512 (0.7%) patients with liver cirrhosis. The mean age of patients with cirrhosis was 74.1 (±6.5) years. Over a median follow-up of 5 years, 76,195 patients were hospitalized with a stroke. The incidence of stroke was 1.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.7-2.1%) per year in patients with cirrhosis and 1.1% (95% CI, 1.1-1.1%) per year in patients without cirrhosis. After adjusting for demographics and vascular risk factors, patients with cirrhosis experienced a higher risk of stroke (hazard ratio [HR], 1.4; 95% CI, 1.2-1.5); however, associations appeared more robust for intracerebral hemorrhage (HR, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.7-2.8) and subarachnoid hemorrhage (HR, 2.0; 95% CI, 1.2-3.1) than for ischemic stroke (HR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.1-1.4).Conclusions: We found that liver cirrhosis was associated with an increased risk of stroke, particularly hemorrhagic stroke. Our results build on recent work investigating the hemorrhagic and thrombotic complications of liver cirrhosis outside of the portal circulation.

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