Frequency of gallstone disease in a well-defined Swedish population. A prospective necropsy study in Malmö

Scand J Gastroenterol. 1977;12(3):341-6. doi: 10.3109/00365527709180938.


In a necropsy series from Malmö of 2,218 subjects above 20 years of age, and composing 88.2% of all persons above 20 who died that year in Malmö, the frequency of diseases of the gallbladder and bile ducts was studied. The frequency of gallstone disease (gallstone at necropsy or postoperative state) was 44%; 32% for males and 57% for females, with a maximum frequency for males of 57% in the 90-99 year age group and for women-about 63%-in all age groups above 70. Of subjects with cholecystolithiasis 27% had 1 stone, 36% 2-10 stones, and 8% had more than 100 stones. The same proportion-about one-fifth--of both men and women with gallstone disease had been operated upon, and in 11% of the operated cases stones were found in the remaining bile ducts. Chronic cholecystitis was noted in 17% of the cases. Cancer of the gallbladder was observed in 20 subjects with marked female preponderance. Cancer of the bile duct was noted in 12 cases. In 3.2% of the cases with gallstone disease this disease had been the cause of death (chief or contributory).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Bile Duct Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Cholecystitis / epidemiology
  • Cholelithiasis / epidemiology*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Gallbladder Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Gallstones / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sweden