In two middle-sized towns in the northern part of the German Democratic Republic, a random sample of the population and unselected subjects, respectively, were examined for gallbladder stones (GS) by ultrasound. The prevalence of cholelithiasis (sum of GS detected by ultrasound and history of cholecystectomy for GS) ist higher than in other European populations screened by similar methods. It is suggested that dietary habits are responsible for this finding. About one third of subjects with GS had complications of GS and about one third gave a history of cholecystectomy for GS. The frequency of nonspecific dyspeptic complaints was the same in persons with GS as in persons without GS.