The prevalence of gallstone disease in Mexico was investigated by studying a sample of 21,446 necropsies performed at the Department of Pathology of the General Hospital of Mexico City during a 35-year period (1953-1988). For each decade, 1000 necropsy cases were randomly selected. The crude prevalence of gallstone disease was 14.3%, 8.5% for males and 20.4% for females. The age groups ranged from 20 to more than 80 years old; the age-standardized prevalence for males was 5.6% and for females 16.2%. These rates are intermediate between those found in Chile and some African countries, comparable to some European studies, and less than those found in Mexican-Americans. No significant trend in the prevalence of gallstone disease was found when the different decades were compared.