Bilirubin, cardiovascular diseases and cancer: Epidemiological perspectives

Keizo Ohnaka, Suminori Kono

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to a potent antioxidant property of bilirubin, a growing interest has been drawn to the potential protective effects of bilirubin against oxidative stress-related diseases. This article evaluates associations of bilirubin with atherosclerotic diseases and cancer. Serum bilirubin has consistently been shown to be inversely associated with diverse atherosclerotic diseases, mostly among men in different populations. A limited number of prospective studies have shown a U-shaped or reversed J-shaped relationship between bilirubin and coronary heart disease in men and no evident association in women. Few studies have provided evidence supportive of a protective association between bilirubin and cancer risk. The findings on bilirubin-related genetic polymorphisms are inconsistent in relation to coronary heart disease and cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)891-904
Number of pages14
JournalExpert Review of Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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