The association between gravidity and primary biliary cirrhosis

Arti Parikh-Patel, Ellen B Gold, Jessica Utts, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease with female predominance that leads to liver failure. The goal of this study was to identify reproductive risk factors associated with this disease. METHODS: We compared 182 cases of PBC with 225 age- and sex-matched friend controls to examine the role of reproductive factors. The survey instrument was developed using standardized questions obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III. RESULTS: A total of 126/182 cases (69%) and 141/225 (62.6%) friend controls responded to the survey. More cases than controls reported ever having genitourinary infection [adjusted odds ratio (OR) = 2.12, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01, 4.42] among those without a personal or family history of autoimmune disease. The most notable finding was that cases reported significantly more pregnancies than controls (p = 0.008). The adjusted OR for each additional pregnancy among those without a personal or family history of autoimmune disease was 1.40 (95% CI 1.14, 1.7). More controls (24.4%) than cases (16.0%) were nulliparous. Cases reported having five or more children (16.0%) with double the frequency of controls (8.2%). CONCLUSIONS: The association reported herein, between primary biliary cirrhosis and gravidity, is particularly significant because of the overwhelming female predominance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-272
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2002


  • Pregnancy
  • Reproductive
  • Women's Health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Epidemiology


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