Risk of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events in primary biliary cirrhosis: a population-based cohort study

Am J Gastroenterol. 2008 Nov;103(11):2784-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2008.02092.x. Epub 2008 Aug 27.


Background: Hyperlipidemia is a common finding among patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). However, whether this results in higher rates of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular events in PBC patients compared with the general population is unclear.

Methods: We compared the risk of developing myocardial infarction (MI), stroke, and transient ischemic attack (TIA) in a cohort of people with PBC with a general population control cohort matched on age, sex, and general practice (GP). Subjects were selected from the General Practice Research Database (GPRD). Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using Cox regression.

Results: Nine hundred thirty PBC patients (88% female) were compared with 9,202 controls. During a total of about 43,700 person-years of follow-up, 244 MIs, 591 strokes, and 221 TIAs were identified. Incidence rates per 1,000 person-years for MI, stroke, and TIA during the study period were 5.9 (3.9-9.0), 13.8 (10.5-18.2), and 3.5 (2.0-6.0) for PBC cohorts and 5.6 (4.9-6.4), 14.0 (12.9-15.2), and 5.3 (4.6-6.0) for control cohorts, respectively. HRs in PBC cohort compared with the control cohort were for any vascular event 0.99 (95% CI 0.77-1.27) MI 1.04 (95% CI 0.67-1.62), stroke 0.98 (95% CI 0.73-1.31), and TIA 0.66 (95% CI 0.38-1.16). Adjustment for confounders did not change the results substantially.

Conclusions: PBC was not associated with an increased risk of MI, stroke, or TIA in this cohort. Therefore, strategies for the prevention of vascular events in PBC patients should be similar to those in the general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Databases as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology
  • Young Adult