Study identifies changing trends in PBC incidence, mortality




A new study has identified a higher mortality rate among males with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and a lower sex ratio in disease prevalence than previously thought, according to findings published online in the journal Scientific Reports.

Investigators analyzed inpatient data from 2000 to 2009 for PBC patients in Denmark and in the Italian province of Lombardia. In the Lombardia cohort, 2,970 PBC patients were identified, with a female to male ratio of 2.3:1. In the Denmark population, 722 cases were identified, with a female to male ratio of 4.2:1, reported Dr. Ana Lleo from the Humanitas Clinical and Research Center in Rozzano, Italy, and her coauthors.


Among the Lombardia patients, survival at 1, 5, and 10 years was significantly higher for females (89%, 95% confidence interval, 88%-91%; 77%, 95% CI, 75%-78%; and 67%, 95% CI, 65%-70%, respectively) than for males (78%, 95% CI, 75%-80%; 55%, 95% CI, 52%-59%; and 47%, 95% CI, 43%-51%, respectively). Findings were similar in the Denmark cohort, with female patients having higher survival rates (survival at 1, 5, and 10 years of 90%, 87%-92%; 73%, 95% CI, 69%-77%; and 60%, 95% CI, 53%-67%, respectively) than males (72%, 95% CI, 63%-79%; 42%, 95% CI, 32%-51%; and 27%, 95% CI, 14%-43%, respectively), the authors reported.

The study findings question long-held beliefs on PBC, the authors said. Hepatologists should be aware that “male PBC patients have higher mortality than [do] their female counterparts, such that close clinical follow-up and checking adherence to therapy are strongly recommended,” Dr. Lleu and colleagues concluded.

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