The following factors may increase your risk of primary biliary cirrhosis:
- Your sex. The great majority of people with primary biliary cirrhosis are women.
- Your age. Primary biliary cirrhosis is most likely to occur in people 30 to 60 years old.
- Genetic factors. Having a family member with the disease makes it more likely that you will develop it.
Researchers think that genetic factors, when combined with environmental factors, trigger primary biliary cirrhosis. These environmental factors may include:
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- Infection. Researchers suspect primary biliary cirrhosis could be triggered by a bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection.
- Smoking. Smoking is associated with increased risk of primary biliary cirrhosis.
- Environmental toxins. Some research suggests that toxic chemicals may play a role in developing primary biliary cirrhosis.
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