Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) has been regarded as female-predominant without evidence of gender difference in survival. We aimed to compare the overall survival, incidence and prevalence of PBC in two well defined population-based studies over a recent decade, considering also sex ratios and mortality. We have taken advantage of population-wide records, during 2000-2009, in Lombardia, Northern Italy, and Denmark. We focused on the incident cases of PBC, including gender and outcome, among 9.7 million inhabitants of Lombardia and 5.5 million of Denmark. In Lombardia there were 2,970 PBC cases with a female:male ratio of 2.3:1. The age/sex-adjusted annual incidence of PBC was 16.7 per million. Point prevalence was 160 per million on January 1st 2009. In Denmark there were 722 cases of incident PBC, female:male ratio was 4.2:1, and the annual incidence was 11.4 per million, a point prevalence of 115 per million in 2009. Cox regression multivariate analysis identified male sex as an independent predictor of all-cause mortality in both Italian (HR 2.36) and Danish population (HR 3.04). Our data indicate for PBC a sex ratio significantly lower than previously cited, a reversal of the usual latitudinal difference in prevalence and a surprisingly higher overall mortality for male patients.
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