Who is at risk for developing primary biliary cholangitisa (PBC)?

Although anyone can be diagnosed with PBC, most people who have the disease are middle-aged women. Many of these women also have at least 1 other autoimmune disease.

PBC may also run in families, so you might be at greater risk if you have a parent, sibling, or child who has been diagnosed with PBC.

a Formerly known as primary biliary cirrhosis.

PBC by the numbers

Up to 55% of patients with PBC also have another autoimmune disease. If you have more than one autoimmune condition, you are not alone. Learn more.

About 90% of people who have PBC are women.

Most people affected by PBC are between 35 and approximately 80 years of age.

Although PBC is considered a rare disease, it is the most common chronic cholestatic liver disease in adult women.


As many as 1 in 1000 women over the age of 40 have PBC


Between 1988 and 2015, PBC was the second most common cause of liver transplant for women in the United States

What are some factors that can affect PBC progression?

How well someone responds to treatment can affect how fast they progress.

  • It is important to address your disease with medication, because PBC is chronic and will not go away.
  • There is evidence that starting treatment early can help slow the progression of the disease.
  • Your healthcare team can see how well your liver is responding to treatment by measuring and tracking your alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels.

Additionally, women who were diagnosed before the age of 30 and all men (regardless of age) are at highest risk of not responding well to treatment.

You can take action.

Having risk factors for PBC does not mean you will get the disease. Learn more about how people get an official diagnosis of PBC.