Projected increase in obesity and non-alcoholic-steatohepatitis–related liver transplantation waitlist additions in the United States

Neehar D. Parikh, Wesley J. Marrero, Jingyuan Wang, Justin Steuer, Elliot B. Tapper, Monica Konerman, Amit G. Singal, David W. Hutton, Eunshin Byon, Mariel S. Lavieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis is the fastest growing indication for liver transplantation (LT) in the United States. We aimed to determine the temporal trend behind the rise in obesity and NASH-related additions to the LT waitlist in the United States and make projections for future NASH burden on the LT waitlist. We used data from the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network database from 2000 to 2014 to obtain the number of NASH-related LT waitlist additions. The obese population in the United States from 2000 to 2014 was estimated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Based on obesity trends, we established a time lag between obesity prevalence and NASH-related waitlist additions. We used data from the U.S. Census Bureau on population projections from 2016 to 2030 to forecast obesity estimates and NASH-related LT waitlist additions. From 2000 to 2014, the proportion of obese individuals significantly increased 44.9% and the number of NASH-related annual waitlist additions increased from 391 to 1,605. Increase in obesity prevalence was strongly associated with LT waitlist additions 9 years later in derivation and validation cohorts (R2 = 0.9). Based on these data, annual NASH-related waitlist additions are anticipated to increase by 55.4% (1,354-2,104) between 2016 and 2030. There is significant regional variation in obesity rates and in the anticipated increase in NASH-related waitlist additions (P < 0.01). Conclusion: We project a marked increase in demand for LT for NASH given population obesity trends. Continued public health efforts to curb obesity prevalence are needed to reduce the projected future burden of NASH. (Hepatology 2017).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-495
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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