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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(2), 177; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15020177

Demographic and Urbanization Disparities of Liver Transplantation in Taiwan

1
Department of Surgery, Cishan Hospital, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Kaohsiung 842, Taiwan
2
Department of Public Health, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
3
Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
4
General Surgery Division, Surgery Department, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua City 500, Taiwan
5
Transplant Medicine and Surgery Research Centre, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua City 500, Taiwan
6
Department of Public Health, College of Public Health, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
7
Department of Surgery, Tainan Sin-Lau Hospital, Tainan 701, Taiwan
8
Department of Health Care Administration, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan 711, Taiwan
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 18 January 2018 / Published: 23 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Health Services and Health Economics Research)
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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. View Full-Text
Keywords: liver transplantation; demographics; urbanization; descriptive epidemiology; prevalence rate liver transplantation; demographics; urbanization; descriptive epidemiology; prevalence rate
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Wen, P.-H.; Lu, C.-L.; Strong, C.; Lin, Y.-J.; Chen, Y.-L.; Li, C.-Y.; Tsai, C.-C. Demographic and Urbanization Disparities of Liver Transplantation in Taiwan. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 177.

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