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Am J Epidemiol. 1989 Mar;129(3):587-95.

Central adiposity and gallbladder disease in Mexican Americans.

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U. of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio 78284.


Obesity is widely recognized as a risk factor for gallstones. However, to the authors' knowledge, only one study has examined the effect of body fat distribution on the prevalence of gallbladder disease. Mexican Americans are a population characterized by both a high prevalence of gallbladder disease and an unfavorable body fat distribution. The authors examined whether central adiposity (as measured by the ratio of subscapular-to-triceps skinfold) was related to clinically evident gallbladder disease in 1,202 Mexican Americans and 908 non-Hispanic whites in the San Antonio Heart Study from 1979 to 1982. After adjustment for overall adiposity (as measured by body mass index) and the ratio of subscapular-to-triceps skinfold, an increased prevalence of gallbladder disease was still observed in Mexican-American women. Both body mass index and the ratio of subscapular-to-triceps skinfold were positively and independently associated with gallbladder disease in women, while in men, body mass index, but not the subscapular-to-triceps skinfold ratio, was associated with gallbladder disease. Central adiposity is also related to the adverse pattern of cardiovascular risk factors observed in women with gallbladder disease.

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