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Recent advances in clinical practice: epidemiology of autoimmune liver diseases


Autoimmune liver diseases are chronic inflammatory hepatobiliary disorders that when classically defined encompass three distinctive clinical presentations; primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH). Meaningful changes in disease epidemiology are reported, with increasing incidence and prevalence of AIH and PSC in Europe, and rising prevalence of PBC across Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific region. However, there appears to be very significant global variation with contemporary incidence rates of disease per 100 000 ranging from 0.84 to 2.75 for PBC, 0.1 to 4.39 for PSC and 0.4 to 2.39 for AIH. Prevalence corresponds, and per 100 000 estimates for PBC range from 1.91 to 40.2, for PSC between 0.78 and 31.7 and for AIH from 4.8 to 42.9. Population-based studies and multicentre observational cohort series provide improved understanding of the clinical course that patients experience, highlighting variations in presenting phenotypes geographically and temporally. Collectively, while autoimmune liver diseases are rare, the clinical burden is disproportionately high relative to population incidence and prevalence. Age, sex and race also impact clinical outcomes, and patient morbidity and mortality are reflected by high need for gastroenterology, hepatology and organ transplant services.

  • primary biliary cirrhosis
  • primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • autoimmune liver disease

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