OBJECTIVES: The pathogenesis of biliary atresia (BA) is unclear, but epidemiological studies may help to elucidate possible causes. The goals of this study were to identify BA incidence changes in Taiwan in 2004-2009 and to survey the factors that might influence incidence changes to elucidate the possible causes of BA. METHODS: A Taiwan national registry system for BA has been established since 2004. By using data from the national registry system for BA, we identified BA incidence changes in 2004-2009. We also evaluated the correlations between BA incidences and estimated rotavirus vaccine coverage rates and between BA incidences and the gross domestic product. RESULTS: A total of 185 patients with BA were identified in 2004-2009 in Taiwan, whereas the number of live births was 1 221 189. Compared with the incidence of BA in 2004-2006 (1.79 cases per 10 000 live births), the incidence of BA in 2007-2009 (1.23 cases per 10 000 live births) was decreased significantly (P=.01). BA incidences were negatively correlated with the gross domestic product (P=.02) and marginally negatively correlated with rotavirus vaccine coverage rates (P = .07). CONCLUSIONS: A significant decrease in BA incidence in Taiwan since 2007 has been noted and may be related to improvements in the general socioeconomic status and the popularity of rotavirus vaccination. Although more evidence is needed to establish a direct correlation, this phenomenon may shed light on possible causes of and preventive interventions for BA.
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