Who is at risk for developing PBC?

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

“When the doctor mentioned [PBC]…I thought, it’s genetic—that I got it from my grandma.” — Wendy, England

PBC by the numbers

  • Up to 55% of patients with PBC also have another autoimmune disease.
  • About 90% of people who have PBC are women.
  • Most people affected by PBC are between 35 and 80 years of age.

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

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

    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.

  • 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 PBC progresses.

  • 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

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