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J Korean Med Sci. 2008 Aug;23(4):644-50. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2008.23.4.644.

Insulin resistance is associated with gallstones even in non-obese, non-diabetic Korean men.

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Health Screening Center, Kangbuk Samsung Hospital, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea.


It remains unclear as to whether insulin resistance alone or in the presence of wellknown risk factors, such as diabetes or obesity, is associated with gallstones in men. The aim of this study was to determine whether insulin resistance is associated independently with gallstone disease in non-diabetic men, regardless of obesity. Study subjects were 19,503 Korean men, aged 30-69 yr, with fasting blood glucose level <126 mg/dL and without a documented history of diabetes. Gallbladder status was assessed via abdominal ultrasonography after overnight fast. Body mass index and waist circumference were measured. Insulin resistance was estimated by the Homeostasis Model Assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). The prevalence of obesity, abdominal obesity, and metabolic syndrome in the subjects with gallstones were higher than in those without. The prevalence of elevated HOMA (>75 percentile) in subjects with gallstones was significantly higher than in those without, and this association remained even after the obesity stratification was applied. In multiple logistic regression analyses, only age and HOMA proved to be independent predictors of gallstones. Insulin resistance was positively associated with gallstones in non-diabetic Korean men, and this occurred regardless of obesity. Gallstones appear to be a marker for insulin resistance, even in non-diabetic, nonobese men.

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