Body mass index, alcohol, tobacco and symptomatic gallstone disease: a Swedish twin study

D Katsika, C Tuvblad, C Einarsson, P Lichtenstein, H-U Marschall
Journal of Internal Medicine 2007, 262 (5): 581-7

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Both genetic and environmental factors are involved in the pathogenesis of gallstone disease (GD). We aimed to examine the association between symptomatic GD and overweight (body mass index, BMI, 25-30 kg m(-2)), obesity (BMI > 30 kg m(-2)), alcohol, smoking and smoke-free tobacco by analysing a large twin population.

METHODS: The Swedish Twin Registry (STR) was linked to the Swedish Hospital Discharge and Causes of Death Registries for GD and GD-surgery related diagnoses. Weight, height, use of alcohol, smoking and smoke-free tobacco were provided by STR and analysed for possible associations by conditional logistic regression.

RESULTS: Overweight and obesity were associated with a significantly higher risk for symptomatic GD in the whole study population (OR 1.86 and OR 3.38; CI: 1.52-2.28 and 2.28-5.02 respectively). High alcohol consumption was associated with a lower risk for GD in the whole population (OR 0.62; CI: 0.51-0.74) with no difference between discordant monozygotic and dizygotic twins (OR 1.08 and OR 0.96; CI: 0.82-1.42 and 0.79-1.16). Smoking or smoke-free tobacco was not correlated with GD.

CONCLUSION: Consistent with epidemiological studies, we found positive associations between BMI and the development of symptomatic GD. High alcohol consumption was associated with a decreased risk against GD. Tobacco use has no impact on GD.

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