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 20 May 2018

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News

Primary biliary cirrhosis risk increases near toxic waste sites

This month's issue of Hepatology finds that toxin exposure may be a risk factor influencing the clustering of primary biliary cirrhosis cases.

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Primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis are uncommon liver diseases of unknown etiology.

Reported clustering of primary biliary cirrhosis cases may be due to environmental factors.

Individuals with primary biliary cirrhosis have a high prevalence of thyroid disease and thyroid disease is reportedly more prevalent near Superfund toxic waste sites.

Dr Joseph Odin and colleagues examined the prevalence and potential clustering of individuals with primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis near Superfund toxic waste sites.

De-identified clinical and demographic data were used to determine the observed prevalence for each New York City zip code, and borough.

The research team assessed patients with primary biliary cirrhosis or primary sclerosing cholangitis who were listed for liver transplantation.

Staten Island had the most primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplants and toxic sites
Hepatology

The expected prevalence was calculated using Organ Procurement and Transfer Network and US Census data.

The team included both primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplant patients and those not listed for liver transplantation in the cluster analysis.

The researchers compared prevalence ratios of primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplant cases with primary sclerosing cholangitis liver transplant cases for each zip code, and for each borough.

The team considered the proximity or density of Superfund toxic waste sites.

SaTScan software was used to identify clusters of primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplant cases, and cases not listed for liver transplantation.

The researchers found that prevalence ratio of primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplant cases was higher in zip codes in or next to Superfund toxic waste sites.

The borough of Staten Island had the highest prevalence ratio of primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplant cases and density of Superfund toxic waste sites.

The team identified significant clusters of both primary biliary cirrhosis liver transplantations, and those not listed for liver transplants surrounding Superfund toxic waste sites.

Dr Odin's team concluded, “Toxin exposure may be a risk factor influencing the clustering of primary biliary cirrhosis cases.”

Hepatol 2006: 43(3): 525-31
09 March 2006

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