Association between thyroid function and gallstone disease

World J Gastroenterol. 2005 Sep 21;11(35):5530-4. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v11.i35.5530.


Aim: To investigate those associations using data of the population-based Study of Health in Pomerania.

Methods: A study population of 3 749 residents aged 20-79 years without previously diagnosed thyroid disease was available for analyses. Serum TSH was used to assess thyroid function. Cholelithiasis was defined by either a prior history of cholecystectomy or the presence of gallstones on ultrasound. Logistic regression was performed to analyze independent associations between thyroid function and cholelithiasis.

Results: There were 385 persons (10.3%) with low (<0.3 mIU/L), 3 321 persons (88.6%) with normal and 43 persons (1.2%) with high serum TSH levels (>3 mIU/L). The proportion of cholelithiasis among males and females was 14.4% and 25.3%, respectively. Among males, there was an independent relation between high serum TSH and cholelithiasis (OR 3.77; 95%-CI 1.06-13.41; P<0.05). Also among males, there was a tendency towards an elevated risk of cholelithiasis in persons with low serum TSH (OR 1.40; 95%-CI 0.96-2.02; P = 0.07). In the female population, no such relation was identified.

Conclusion: There is an association between thyroid and gallstone disease with a gender-specific relation between hypothyroidism and cholelithiasis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholelithiasis / blood
  • Cholelithiasis / physiopathology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Gallstones / blood
  • Gallstones / physiopathology*
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Thyroid Gland / physiopathology*
  • Thyrotropin / blood


  • Thyrotropin