Incidence and prevalence of cirrhosis in the United Kingdom, 1992-2001: a general population-based study

J Hepatol. 2008 Nov;49(5):732-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2008.05.023. Epub 2008 Jun 25.


Background/aims: To determine the incidence and prevalence of cirrhosis in the United Kingdom.

Methods: We identified patients aged 25 or over with cirrhosis, oesophageal varices or portal hypertension from the UK General Practice Research Database between 1992 and 2001. We measured incidence rates by sex, year and aetiology, incidence rate ratios and estimated prevalence figures.

Results: Three thousand three hundred and sixty cases of cirrhosis were identified. Crude incidence was 14.55 per 100,000 person years increasing from 12.05 to 16.99 per 100,000 person years from 1992 to 2001. Incidence was over 50% higher in men compared with women (adjusted incidence rate ratio 1.52 (95%CI [1.42-1.63])). A statistically significant increase in incidence of both alcoholic cirrhosis and non-alcohol-related cirrhosis was seen in men and women. Prevalence of cirrhosis was an estimated 76.3 per 100,000 population aged over 25 in mid-2001.

Conclusions: There was a 45% increase in the incidence of cirrhosis during the decade 1992-2001 in the UK and a 68% increase in prevalence. Cirrhosis occurred more commonly and at younger ages in men than women. Cirrhosis represents a growing burden of morbidity and mortality in the UK, with an estimated 30,000 people living with cirrhosis and at least 7000 new cases being diagnosed each year.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Portal / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology