Central adiposity and gallbladder disease in Mexican Americans

Stevn M. Haffner, Andrew K. Diehl, Michael P. Stern, Helen P. Hazuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Obesity is widely recoginized 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 unfavourable body fat distribution. The authors examined whether centrak 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)587-595
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of epidemiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1989


  • Body composition
  • Gallbladder diseases
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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