Gallstone disease among Japanese men in relation to obesity, glucose intolerance, exercise, alcohol use, and smoking

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1995 Apr;30(4):372-6. doi: 10.3109/00365529509093293.


Background: Risk factors for gallstones are not fully understood, especially in men. Obesity and other risk factors for gallstone disease were investigated in Japanese men based on gallbladder ultrasonography.

Methods: Forty-one men with gallstones, 31 with postcholecystectomy state, and 2044 with a normal gallbladder were identified among 2228 men aged 49-55 years who received a retirement health examination at three hospitals of the Japan Self-Defense Forces between 1991 and 1992. Glucose tolerance was determined with a 75-g oral glucose tolerance test.

Results: Body mass index was not associated with gallstones, although it was significantly, positively related to postcholecystectomy. Waist to hip circumference ratio tended to be weakly associated with gallstones. Diabetes mellitus was associated only with postcholecystectomy. Smoking, alcohol intake, and physical activity were not measurably related to either gallstones or postcholecystectomy.

Conclusions: The present study failed to substantiate an association of gallstone risk with either obesity or any other risk factor. Further observation is needed in view of the limited study power.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Body Mass Index
  • Cholelithiasis / complications
  • Cholelithiasis / epidemiology*
  • Cholelithiasis / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Complications
  • Exercise*
  • Glucose Intolerance / complications*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obesity / complications*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*