Seasonal Variations of Hospital Admissions for Alcohol-Related Hepatitis in the United States

Aalam Sohal, Kanwal Bains, Armaan Dhaliwal, Hunza Chaudhry, Raghav Sharma, Piyush Singla, Gagan Gupta, Dino Dukovic, Sunny Sandhu, Marina Roytman, Steven Tringali


Background: Clinical experience suggests an increased hospitalization rate for alcohol-related hepatitis (AH) in the winter months; however, seasonal variations in the prevalence of hospitalizations for AH have not been described previously. We hypothesized that AH hospitalizations would be higher in the winter months due to the holiday season and increased alcohol sales.

Methods: Patients with primary or secondary discharge diagnoses of AH were included in the study (International Classification of Diseases, Clinical Modification-10th Revision codes K70.4 and K70.1) between January 2016 and December 2019. The primary outcome measure for this study was daily hospitalizations by each month of the year. Secondary outcome measures included the rate of in-hospital mortality associated with AH, hospital length of stay, and total hospitalization cost for each month.

Results: The highest number of AH-related admissions was reported in July (n = 56,800; 9%), followed by August (n = 55,700; 8.8%) and May (n = 54,865; 8.7%). February had the lowest number of admissions (n = 46,550; 7.37%). The adjusted mortality was highest in December (overall mortality: 9.6%; adjusted odds ratio: 1.29; 95% confidence interval: 1.142 - 1.461; P < 0.0001) and lowest in May (overall mortality rate: 7.7%). No difference was noted between length of stay and total hospitalization cost between months.

Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that seasonal variations in hospitalizations related to AH do exist across the United States. Regional differences also exist and follow unique patterns. The increase in admissions for AH is in line with other studies suggesting that heavy drinking happens during the warm season. Hospital administrators and other stewards of healthcare resources can use seasonal patterns to guide allocation of resources.

Gastroenterol Res. 2022;15(2):75-81


Alcohol-related hepatitis; Seasonal; Trends; NIS; Alcohol; Cirrhosis

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