Epidemiology of gallstones

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2010 Jun;39(2):157-69, vii. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2010.02.003.


Gallstones are common with prevalences as high as 60% to 70% in American Indians and 10% to 15% in white adults of developed countries. Ethnic differences abound with a reduced frequency in black Americans and those from East Asia, while being rare in sub-Saharan Africa. Certain risk factors for gallstones are immutable: female gender, increasing age, and ethnicity/family (genetic traits). Others are modifiable: obesity, the metabolic syndrome, rapid weight loss, certain diseases (cirrhosis and Crohn disease), gallbladder stasis (from spinal cord injury or drugs, such as somatostatin), and lifestyle.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Gallstones / epidemiology*
  • Global Health
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution