Gilbert's syndrome and the risk of death: a population-based cohort study.
Horsfall LJ, Nazareth I, Pereira SP, Petersen I.
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Gilbert's syndrome is a common familial hyperbilirubinemia that may reduce the risk of various age-related diseases because of the antioxidant properties of bilirubin. We conducted a large cohort study using The Health Improvement Network primary care database and compared all-cause mortality rates in those with and without Gilbert's syndrome. METHODS: Mortality rates in patients with a diagnosis of Gilbert's syndrome and raised bilirubin level (n = 4266) were compared with those of patients with similar characteristics but with normal bilirubin levels (n = 21 968). Multivariate Poisson regression was also used to estimate adjusted mortality rate ratios. RESULTS: During the 350 000 PYs of follow up across the Gilbert's and comparison cohorts, there were 1174 deaths. Mortality rates were 24/10 000 PYs in the Gilbert's cohort versus 50/10 000 PYs in the comparison cohort. Mortality rates were around half in patients with Gilbert's syndrome after accounting for sociodemographics and general health indicators (adjusted mortality rate ratio: 0.5 [95% confidence interval; 0.4-0.7; P < 0.001]). CONCLUSIONS: Mortality rates observed for people with Gilbert's syndrome in the general population are almost half those of people without evidence of Gilbert's syndrome.