Background: It has been claimed that the prevalence of gallstone disease (GD) is unusually high in Sweden. The prevalence is not known in either men or women.
Methods: An ultrasound technique was used in a population-based screening study to identify all subjects with GD and subjects with a history of cholecystectomy. Eight hundred 40- and 60-year-old men and women were asked to participate.
Results: Five hundred and fifty-six subjects were included, giving a response rate of 70%. The overall prevalence of GD was 15%. Women had a higher prevalence both at 40 and 60 years of age--11% and 25%, respectively--as compared with men, at 4% and 15%. Fifty per cent of subjects with GD had been cholecystectomized.
Conclusions: Gallstone disease is common in Stockholm, and the prevalence is equal to that of other European cities where similar studies have been performed. Subjects with GD were more often cholecystectomized than in other parts of Europe.