Obesity is an established risk factor for gallstones. However, it is unknown whether abdominal adiposity contributes independently to this risk.
In this study, investigators from Boston examined the association of abdominal circumference and waist-to-hip ratio with the risk of symptomatic gallstone disease in men.
The team prospectively studied measures of abdominal obesity and gallstone disease in 29,847 men who were free of prior gallstone disease.
|Men with a height-adjusted waist circumference ≥ 102.6 cm had a relative risk of 2.29.|
|American Journal of Clinical Nutrition|
They collected data on weight, height, and waist and hip circumferences in 1986 and 1987 using self-administered questionnaires.
In addition, the participants reported any newly diagnosed symptomatic gallstone disease on questionnaires mailed to them every 2 years.
The investigators identified 1117 new cases of symptomatic gallstone disease during 264,185 person-years of follow-up.
Once the team adjusted for known risk factors, they found that men with a height-adjusted waist circumference ≥ 102.6 cm had a relative risk of 2.29.
Men with a waist-to-hip ratio ≥ 0.99 had a multivariate relative risk of 1.78.
Dr Chung-Jyi Tsai and colleagues concluded, "Our data suggest the presence of a significant association between abdominal adiposity and the incidence of symptomatic gallstone disease".
"As measures of abdominal adiposity, abdominal circumference and waist-to-hip ratio predict the risk of developing gallstones independently of body mass index".