Coffee consumption was recently shown to protect against symptomatic gallbladder disease in men. The authors examined the relation of ultrasound-documented gallbladder disease with coffee drinking in 13,938 adult participants in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994. The prevalence of total gallbladder disease was unrelated to coffee consumption in either men or women. However, among women a decreased prevalence of previously diagnosed gallbladder disease was found with increasing coffee drinking (p = 0.027). These findings do not support a protective effect of coffee consumption on total gallbladder disease, although coffee may decrease the risk of symptomatic gallstones in women.