Physical activity and decreased risk of clinical gallstone disease among post-menopausal women

Prev Med. 2005 Sep-Oct;41(3-4):772-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2005.04.002. Epub 2005 Jul 20.


Background: Physical activity may play a role in preventing gallstone disease.

Methods: The activity/gallstone relationship was examined in post-menopausal women from the Study of Osteoporotic Fractures (SOF; 1986-1988), a prospective study of fracture risk factors in 8010 women (mean age = 71.1 years, SD = 4.9).

Results: Multivariate logistic regression indicated women in the lowest two quartiles of physical activity, according to questionnaire, had a 59% {OR = 1.59 (1.11-2.29), P = 0.02} and a 57% higher risk {OR = 1.57 (1.11-2.23), P = 0.01} of developing gallstone disease compared to women in the highest quartile of activity (PTrend = <0.0001). Additionally, this relationship was examined in a cohort of 182 post-menopausal women (mean age 74.2 years, SD = 4.1) who participated in a randomized controlled trial of a walking intervention. Women in the randomized clinical trial in the lowest tertile of physical activity determined by a physical activity monitor had a higher risk of developing gallstone disease than women in the highest tertile of physical activity, 13% {OR-1.13 (1.01-1.28), P = 0.05, PTrend = <0.04}.

Conclusion: Physical activity appears to be inversely related to the development of gallstone disease in post-menopausal women independent of body mass index.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cohort Studies
  • Exercise*
  • Female
  • Gallstones / epidemiology
  • Gallstones / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Postmenopause*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States / epidemiology