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PLoS One. 2019 Feb 22;14(2):e0211480. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211480. eCollection 2019.

Big data and analysis of risk factors for gallbladder disease in the young generation of Korea.

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Pancreatobiliary Cancer Clinic, Department of Surgery, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Yonsei University, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.



Few studies have examined the risk factors for gallbladder (GB) disease in young adults. This study aimed to evaluate risk factors for GB disease in young adults based on big data in Korea.


All participants underwent routine checkup at the Korea Medical Institute from June 2014 to May 2015. After excluding 677 individuals with missing information in records, 724,114 individuals (435,635 men, 288,479 women) were finally included. The definition of abnormal GB finding included stones, sludge, polyps, and adenomyomatosis detected using ultrasonography. All statistical analyses were performed using SAS software version 9.2.


Overall, 27,130 (17.5%) individuals were diagnosed as having abnormal GB finding in the young age group (N = 154,463, aged 20-39 years). In men, significant differences in low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and cholesterol levels were observed between the abnormal GB finding group and normal GB group (p < 0.05). In women, a significant difference in smoking history was noted between the abnormal GB finding group and normal GB group (p < 0.05). The prevalence rate of GB stones was 1.9% (27,979/154,463) in the young age group. High body mass index (BMI), large thigh circumference, and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) level in women and low HDL level in men were independent risk factors for the presence of GB stones (p < 0.05).


In this study, obesity-related factors (BMI, waist size, thigh circumference, and cholesterol, LDL, and HDL levels) correlated with GB disease in the young generation of Korea.

Conflict of interest statement

This article was presented as an oral presentation with interim findings at the 6th Congress of the Asian-Pacific Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association (6th A-PHPBA) in Pacifico Yokohama, Japan, held on June 7–10, 2017. The oral presentation’s abstract was published as an “oral abstract” in the Journal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Sciences. This does not alter our adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

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