Global epidemiology of cirrhosis - aetiology, trends and predictions

Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Jun;20(6):388-398. doi: 10.1038/s41575-023-00759-2. Epub 2023 Mar 28.


Cirrhosis is an important cause of morbidity and mortality in people with chronic liver disease worldwide. In 2019, cirrhosis was associated with 2.4% of global deaths. Owing to the rising prevalence of obesity and increased alcohol consumption on the one hand, and improvements in the management of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus infections on the other, the epidemiology and burden of cirrhosis are changing. In this Review, we highlight global trends in the epidemiology of cirrhosis, discuss the contributions of various aetiologies of liver disease, examine projections for the burden of cirrhosis, and suggest future directions to tackle this condition. Although viral hepatitis remains the leading cause of cirrhosis worldwide, the prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and alcohol-associated cirrhosis are rising in several regions of the world. The global number of deaths from cirrhosis increased between 2012 and 2017, but age-standardized death rates (ASDRs) declined. However, the ASDR for NAFLD-associated cirrhosis increased over this period, whereas ASDRs for other aetiologies of cirrhosis declined. The number of deaths from cirrhosis is projected to increase in the next decade. For these reasons, greater efforts are required to facilitate primary prevention, early detection and treatment of liver disease, and to improve access to care.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Hepatitis C* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / epidemiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / complications
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease* / etiology
  • Risk Factors