Obesity and weight loss have been associated with gallstone disease. There is also an association between gallstones and pancreatitis.
In this study, researchers from Sweden evaluated the relationships between body mass index (BMI), body fat distribution, and prevalence of gallstones, gallbladder disease, and pancreatitis.
The team examined 2-year incidences gallstones, gallbladder disease, and pancreatitis in relation to weight changes and body fat distribution after obesity treatment.
They used self-administered questionnaires were used to assess biliary and pancreatic disease.
|Weight loss was related to an increased incidence of biliary disease.|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
In the cross-sectional study, the researchers assessed 6328 obese patients, and 1135 randomly selected reference subjects.
Of the obese patients, the team examined 1422 patients who were surgically treated, and 1260 who were conventionally treated.
The researchers found that the obese subjects had higher prevalence of cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, cholecystectomies, and pancreatitis, compared with the reference population.
The team determined that, in women, BMI and waist-hip ratio (WHR) were independently associated with increased biliary disease prevalence. However, in men, only BMI was independently associated with biliary disease.
They also found that obesity surgery significantly increased the incidence of cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, and cholecystectomies in men, compared with conventional treatment. This difference was not identified in women.
The researchers found that weight loss, in both men and women, was related to an increased incidence of biliary disease.
Dr Jarl Torgerson's concluded, "This study showed an increased prevalence of gallstones, gallbladder disease, and pancreatitis in the obese".
"Biliary disease was related to BMI and WHR in women, but only to BMI in men".
"Weight loss, but not change in WHR, increased the risk of biliary disease in both genders".