J. Delgado, A.D. Sperber, V. Novack, B. Delgado, L. Edelman, N. Gaspar, P. Krugliak, S. Odes, A.B. Jotkowitz, M. Faszczyk and A. Fich
Background: The epidemiology of primary biliary cirrhosis has changed significantly over the last decade, with a trend towards increasing prevalence in many places around the world.
Objectives: To determine the overall prevalence of PBC in southern Israel and the specific rates for different immigrant groups between January 1993 and October 2004.
Methods: Multiple case-finding methods were used to identify all cases of PBC in the study region. Age-adjusted prevalence rates were compared among the different immigrant groups.
Results: A total of 47 cases of PBC were identified with an overall prevalence of 55 cases per million. All patients were women, and all except for a Bedouin Arab were Jewish. Foreign-born patients comprised 70% of our PBC cohort even though they represent only 45.4% of the regional population. This predominance of immigrants did not change when the rates were adjusted for age (P < 0.001). The prevalence rates were 40, 177, and 58 cases per million for those born in Israel, North Africa or Asia, and Eastern Europe, respectively. The age-specific prevalence rate for women older than 40 years varied from 135 cases per million among those born in Israel to 450 among immigrants from Eastern Europe and the former USSR to 700 cases per million among immigrants from North Africa and Asia.
Conclusions: The prevalence of PBC in southern Israel is similar to that reported from some European countries. The rate is much higher among Jews than Arabs and among immigrants to Israel compared to native Israelis.