Demographic and urbanization disparities of liver transplantation in Taiwan

Pei Hung Wen, Chin Li Lu, Carol Strong, Yih Jyh Lin, Yao Li Chen, Chung Yi Li, Chiang Chin Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Limited access to or receipt of liver transplantation (LT) may jeopardize survival of patients with end-stage liver diseases. Taiwan launched its National Health Insurance (NHI) program in 1995, which essentially removes financial barriers to health care. This study aims to investigate where there are still demographic and urbanization disparities of LT after 15 years of NHI program implementation. Data analyzed in this study were retrieved from Taiwan’s NHI inpatient claims. A total of 3020 people aged ≥18 years received LT between 2000 and 2013. We calculated crude and adjusted prevalence rate of LT according to secular year, age, sex, and urbanization. The multiple Poisson regression model was further employed to assess the independent effects of demographics and urbanization on prevalence of LT. The biennial number of people receiving LT substantially increased from 56 in 2000–2001 to 880 in 2012–2013, representing a prevalence rate of 1.63 and 18.58 per 106, respectively. Such increasing secular trend was independent of sex. The prevalence was consistently higher in men than in women. The prevalence also increased with age in people <65 years, but dropped sharply in the elderly (≥65 years) people. We noted a significant disparity of LT in areas with different levels of urbanization. Compared to urban areas, satellite (prevalence rate ratio (PRR), 0.63, 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.57–0.69) and rural (PRR, 0.76, 95% CI, 0.69–0.83) areas were both associated with a significantly lower prevalence of LT. There are still significant demographic and urbanization disparities in LT after 15 years of NHI program implementation. Given the predominance of living donor liver transplantation in Taiwan, further studies should be conducted to investigate factors associated with having a potential living donor for LT.

Original languageEnglish
Article number177
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Feb

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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