Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Causes of primary biliary cirrhosis

02.11.2005


Large study pinpoints genetic and environmental factors



A case-control study of more than 2000 people has identified a number of factors that may induce primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in genetically susceptible individuals. These include a history of urinary tract infections, hormone replacement therapy, tobacco use, and nail polish use. The study is published in the November 2005 issue of Hepatology, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hepatology is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology.

PBC is a rare autoimmune disease which leads to liver failure. The cause of the disease is unknown. It is more prominent in women, and researchers have found instances of familial clustering, as well as association with urinary tract infections, tobacco smoking, and estrogen use, though some of the existing studies have offered conflicting evidence.


To better understand the origins of the disease, researchers, led by M. Eric Gershwin, M.D. of the University of California at Davis School of Medicine, conducted a case-control study including 1032 PBC patients and 1041 controls. The patients were recruited from 23 medical centers throughout the United States. The controls were generated from random telephone dialing and were matched to cases by sex, age, race and geographical location. All participants completed an extensive telephone questionnaire covering demographics, lifestyle, personal and familial medical history, and reproductive and occupational history. Researchers then analyzed and compared the data.

After multivariable statistical analyses, they found a number of factors significantly associated with PBC. These include a family history of PBC or Sjogren’s syndrome, individual history of urinary tract infection, history of smoking, use of nail polish, and history of hormone replacement therapy. By contrast, never having been pregnant was significantly associated with protection from developing the disease.

As the largest study to date on risk factors and comorbidities associated with PBC, the results support some of the previously proposed risk factors for PBC, but not others, such as the increased prevalence of breast cancer in female PBC patients. "We further identified new putative risk factors (the use of cosmetic products) and autoimmune conditions (SLE) associated with PBC," the authors report.

The study may have been limited by differing socioeconomic status between cases and controls since reported annual household income was significantly higher in patients with PBC. Also misclassifications may have occurred in the course of self-reporting. "Despite these limitations," say the authors, "we believe that our findings represent the soundest evidence of associations yet reported for PBC."

They conclude: "the results indicate that environmental factors, possibly including infectious agents through urinary tract infections of chemicals contained in cigarette smoke, may induce PBC in genetically susceptible individuals. Exogenous estrogens may also contribute to explain the female predominance of the disease."

The authors suggest future efforts should concentrate on interactions of genetic and environmental factors in relation to PBC. They propose a worldwide gene database for PBC patients and family members as well as animal studies with the identified agents. "Only these combined efforts will provide the solution to the enigma of PBC etiology," they say.

* This study was made possible by funding from the National Institutes of Health and with the help of the PBCers Organization (www.pbcers.org), a non-profit support group.

David Greenberg | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/hepatology
http://www.pbcers.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Cholesterol-lowering drugs may fight infectious disease
22.08.2017 | Duke University

nachricht Once invincible superbug squashed by 'superteam' of antibiotics
22.08.2017 | University at Buffalo

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

What the world's tiniest 'monster truck' reveals

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Treating arthritis with algae

23.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Witnessing turbulent motion in the atmosphere of a distant star

23.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>