Leading Cause of Death in Cirrhosis


Have you been diagnosed with liver cirrhosis? If so then it’s important to know about the complications and risks involved with the disease. For example, complications start showing up in the disease in Stage 2 of liver cirrhosis. It’s important to know some of the main risks including the top causes of cirrhosis death. This can help to focus on the complications that most often can become very serious and even result in the cirrhosis patient passing away. There are various complications involved in this disease that causes major liver scarring. However, certain ones are more common than others. That’s not all. Some complications also are more likely to worsen after a person experiences them.

It’s worth noting that cirrhosis complications with the highest mortality rates aren’t the only serious ones. It just means most people have passed away due to those complications. So it’s critical to know them so you can take steps to help avoid those symptoms among others. For example, while certain complications have lower mortality rates you should be aware of them. It’s possible for all cirrhosis complications to become serious because they develop along with liver cirrhosis itself. So it’s good to know some of the main complications cirrhosis patients might experience.

What Are the Stages of Liver Cirrhosis?

This is the first issue to take up because it’s related to how the disease progresses to different stages. It can make it easier to track and manage the condition. That’s because you’ll be able to observe if your liver disease is progressing or not. That, in turn, can help to boost your life expectancy.

Liver cirrhosis involves moderate to severe scarring of the vital organ. In this stage of liver disease, there’s more scarring than Stage 2, which is Fibrosis (scarring). While both stages involve scarring the main difference is about the amount of scarring.

In particular, Stage 2 of the liver disease involves scarring that starts affecting the organ’s ability to function properly. If it continues to the latter stages of cirrhosis of the liver it can result in Stage 4 of liver disease, which is liver failure.

However, cirrhosis has multiple stages that patients should be aware of.

  • Stage 1: Some liver scarring yet not many symptoms. The main difference between this stage and the others is that there are no complications.
  • Stage 2: This stage involves higher blood pressure in the liver’s veins. It also includes spiderweb-like blood vessels.
  • Stage 3: Swelling in the abdomen and severe liver scarring. Complications start forming in this stage of liver disease and liver failure can happen.
  • Stage 4: This is end-stage liver disease (ESLD and can become fatal if the patient doesn’t receive a transplant.

One of the main issues with cirrhosis is the complications that show up in the latter stage. It’s important to know what the possible ones are so you can recognize and treat them effectively. It’s a critical process because it can help to slow down the liver damage.

There are various treatments that cirrhosis patients can use. They include prescription/OTC medicines, lifestyle changes, and others that can deal with cirrhosis and complications.

Leading Causes of Cirrhosis Death

There are various complications that can affect mortality rates among cirrhosis patients. Based on statistical data here are some of the most common causes of death:


The highest mortality rate is hepatitis with a coma. Hepatitis is also one of the most common complications involved with cirrhosis. This includes Hep A, B, and C. There are vaccines for Hep B/C but not for Hep A. However, all three of these Hepatitis types can cause liver damage.

In some situations, hepatitis cirrhosis can result in comas. This is a very dangerous situation because it increases the mortality rates among cirrhosis patients. It helps to explain why this is the most common cause of death among cirrhosis patients.


This is another common cause of death among cirrhosis patients. The mortality rates are about 10% lower yet are still involved in about one-third of all cirrhosis cases. It’s a serious disease because it can result in various side-effects like blood loss.

However, the main difference is in this case the figure includes both coma and non-coma hemorrhaging. So it’s different from patients with hepatitis cirrhosis.


This is another common cause of death among late-stage liver disease patients. They make up about 20% of all deaths involving cirrhosis. The situation involves patients who have cirrhosis and cancer. These are both very serious diseases that can cause severe liver damage. While this factor doesn’t cause the highest mortality rates it’s because fewer cirrhosis patients develop cancer versus other conditions.

It’s also worth noting that there are also certain conditions that are conditions that are most likely to worsen. They include iron-buildup and blocked bile ducts. These are very common complications that cirrhosis patients might develop.

They don’t cause the most fatalities but become worse most often. So these are other complications to watch out for.

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