UMMS Affiliation

UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science

Publication Date


Document Type

Article Preprint


Digestive System Diseases | Epidemiology | Gastroenterology | Hepatology | Infectious Disease | Translational Medical Research | Virus Diseases


Background and Aims In patients with chronic liver diseases (CLD) with or without cirrhosis, existing data on the risk of adverse outcomes with SARS-CoV-2 infection have been mixed or have limited generalizability. We used the National COVID Cohort Collaborative (N3C) Data Enclave, a harmonized electronic health record (EHR) dataset of 5.9 million nationally-representative, diverse, and gender-balanced patients, to describe outcomes in patients with CLD and cirrhosis with SARS-CoV-2.

Methods We identified all chronic liver diseases patients with and without cirrhosis who had SARS-CoV-2 testing documented in the N3C Data Enclave as of data release date 5/15/2021. The primary outcome was 30-day all-cause mortality. Survival analysis methods were used to estimate cumulative incidences of death, hospitalization, and mechanical ventilation, and to calculate the associations of SARS-CoV-2 infection, presence of cirrhosis, and demographic and clinical factors to 30-day mortality.

Results We isolated 217,143 patients with CLD: 129,097 (59%) without cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 negative, 25,844 (12%) without cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 positive, 54,065 (25%) with cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 negative, and 8,137 (4%) with cirrhosis and SARS-CoV-2 positive. Among CLD patients without cirrhosis, 30-day all-cause mortality rates were 0.4% in SARS-CoV-2 negative patients and 1.8% in positive patients. Among CLD patients with cirrhosis, 30-day all-cause mortality rates were 4.0% in SARS-CoV-2 negative patients and 9.7% in positive patients.

Compared to those who tested SARS-CoV-2 negative, SARS-CoV-2 positivity was associated with more than two-fold (aHR 2.43, 95% CI 2.23-2.64) hazard of death at 30 days among patients with cirrhosis. Compared to patients without cirrhosis, the presence of cirrhosis was associated with a three-fold (aHR 3.39, 95% CI 2.96-3.89) hazard of death at 30 days among patients who tested SARS-CoV-2 positive. Age (aHR 1.03 per year, 95% CI 1.03-1.04) was associated with death at 30 days among patients with cirrhosis who were SARS-CoV-2 positive.

Conclusions In this study of nearly 220,000 CLD patients, we found SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with cirrhosis was associated with 2.43-times mortality hazard, and the presence of cirrhosis among CLD patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 were associated with 3.39-times mortality hazard. Compared to previous studies, our use of a nationally-representative, diverse, and gender-balanced dataset enables wide generalizability of these findings.


SARS-CoV-2 Infection, COVID-19, Chronic Liver Disease, Cirrhosis, mortality, UMCCTS funding

Rights and Permissions

The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted medRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. It is made available under a CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license.

DOI of Published Version



medRxiv 2021.06.03.21258312; doi: Link to preprint on medRxiv

Journal/Book/Conference Title



This article is a preprint. Preprints are preliminary reports of work that have not been certified by peer review.

The UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS), UL1TR001453, helped fund this study.

Related Resources

Now published in Gastroenterology, doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2021.07.010

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.