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Hepatology. 1997 Apr;25(4):787-90.

Gallstones and diabetes: a case-control study in a free-living population sample.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy.


Data on the association between cholelithiasis and diabetes often are controversial and are mostly based on autopsies or on hospital series. Therefore, we designed a case-control study to determine the prevalence of diabetes mellitus in a group of subjects with gallstones or having undergone cholecystectomy (cases) and compared these with a control group of subjects without gallstones, selected during an epidemiological study performed on a free-living population sample. The subjects were matched for sex, age, and body mass index. We enlisted 336 cases and 336 controls, aged 30 to 69 years. All subjects with fasting glycemic levels of < 140 mg/dL and without a documented history of diabetes were submitted to a simplified oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). All subjects who underwent OGTT were classified according to the National Diabetes Data Group (NDDG) criteria. The prevalence of diabetes in the subjects affected by gallstone disease was significantly higher than that in controls (11.6% vs. 4.8%; odds ratio [OR], 2.55; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.39-4.67). Diabetes was more frequent in subjects with gallstone disease than in the control group, even according to sex (18.3% vs. 9.9% for men: OR, 2.03; 95% CI, 0.99-4.2; 9.3% vs. 2.6% for women: OR, 3.85; 95% CI, 1.4-10.6). We conclude that an altered glucose metabolism may increase the risk of developing cholelithiasis in certain subjects.

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