An epidemiological association between cigarette smoking and primary biliary cirrhosis has been demonstrated.
Dr Claudia Zein and colleagues from Ohio determined the relationship between smoking and severity of liver fibrosis at presentation in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.
All patients with primary biliary cirrhosis were seen at the 3 major teaching hospitals of Case Western Reserve University between 1998 and 2005.
The research team collected data obtained at the time of the first evaluation leading to the primary biliary cirrhosis diagnosis on 97 patients.
The team calculated the cumulative number of cigarette packs smoked per year.
|10 pack-years was associated with advanced histological disease|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Advanced histological disease was defined as Ludwig stages 3 or 4.
Analyses were performed to determine associations between advanced histological disease, smoking and other variables related to liver fibrosis.
The researchers found that smoking history was more common in patients with advanced histological disease at presentation vs those with early disease.
Among smokers, mean lifetime tobacco consumption was higher in cases with advanced histological disease at presentation.
The team demonstrated a significant association between a lifetime tobacco consumption of 10 pack-years and advanced histological disease at presentation.
The researchers noted that the association remained significant after adjusting for age, gender, and alcohol intake.
The validity of these results was corroborated by cross-validation in an independent confirmatory set of 172 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.
Dr Zein's team concludes, “Smoking may accelerate the progression of primary biliary cirrhosis.”
“This could be induced by exposure to chemicals in cigarette smoke.”