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Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2013 Oct;9(10):633-9.

Liver disease in women: the influence of gender on epidemiology, natural history, and patient outcomes.

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Dr Guy is the medical director of the Liver Cancer Program and a gastroenterologist in the Division of Hepatology at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, California. Dr Peters is chief of hepatology research and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco in San Francisco, California.


Women more commonly present with acute liver failure, autoimmune hepatitis, benign liver lesions, primary biliary cirrhosis, and toxin-mediated hepatotoxicity. Women less commonly have malignant liver tumors, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and viral hepatitis. There is a decreased rate of decompensated cirrhosis in women with hepatitis C virus infection, no survival difference in alcohol-related liver disease, and improved survival from hepatocellular carcinoma. In general, men are 2-fold more likely to die from chronic liver disease and cirrhosis than are women. Liver transplant occurs less commonly in women than in men, with variable disease outcomes based on etiology. This review highlights the epidemiology, natural history, treatment outcomes, and pathophysiology of common liver diseases in women and discusses how gender influences disease incidence, presentation, progression, and outcomes. Pregnancy-related liver disease is not covered.


Epidemiology; female; gender; liver disease; sex


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