Between 1944 and 1947 the mortality statistics for the Danish population show an epidemic increase of liver diseases: subacute necrosis and cirrhosis. The epidemic only affected female mortality rates. Mortality due to cirrhosis remained at a higher rate for women than men until 1970 as a result of an excess mortality in the cohort of women who in 1945 were over the age of 45. Up to 1981 this group showed an excess of 4,000 fatalities. A reevaluation of medico-statistical data shows that the disease cannot be explained by the epidemic hepatitis occurring in 1942-1944 or by increased consumption of alcohol. Possible causes could be pharmaceutical products or additives, perhaps hormone preparations.