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Am J Gastroenterol. 2006 Oct;101(10):2263-8.

Risk factors for gallstone-related hospitalization during pregnancy and the postpartum.

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Department of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA.



Gallbladder disease is a leading nonobstetrical cause for hospitalization in the first year postpartum. The aim of this study was to define the incidence and risk factors for postpartum hospitalization as a result of gallstone-related disease.


We identified 6,670 women with discharge diagnoses related to biliary disease from linked birth certificate and hospital discharge databases for Washington State from 1987 through 2001. Cases were women with gallstone-related diagnoses at delivery or as primary diagnosis in the postpartum. Four controls who were within 1 yr postpartum were randomly selected for each case and matched for year of delivery. From the birth certificates, we obtained data about patient demographics, reproductive history, and pregnancy-related risk factors. In a retrospective case-control study, we developed multiple logistic regression models to identify independent risk factors for hospitalization.


We identified 6,211 women as cases (0.5% of all births) during the study period. The median time to hospitalization was 95 days (interquartile range 46-191 days), with a median length of stay of 3 days. Seventy-six percent were diagnosed with uncomplicated cholelithiasis, 16% with pancreatitis, 9% with acute cholecystitis, and 8% with cholangitis. Seventy-three percent of hospitalized women underwent cholecystectomy, and 5% underwent endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP). On multivariate analysis, independent risk factors for hospitalization included maternal race, age, being overweight or obese prepregnancy, pregnancy weight gain, and estimated gestational age.


Hospitalization for gallstone-related disease is common in the first year postpartum, most commonly for uncomplicated cholelithiasis. Risk factors for hospitalization include prepregnancy body mass index, race, Hispanic ethnicity, and maternal age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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