Clinical observations have suggested that gallstones are increased in frequency in Mexican-Americans compared to other ethnic groups. Past autopsy surveys have demonstrated a low prevalence in blacks compared to whites. We retrospectively reviewed 1,018 charts to study the prevalence of cholelithiasis in ambulatory women of these three racial/ethnic backgrounds. Mexican-American women were found to have a prevalence of gallbladder disease approximately three times that of black women, with Anglo prevalences falling in an intermediate range. The prevalence of cholelithiasis was also positively associated with increasing age and diabetes, but not with serum cholesterol, use of oral contraceptives or conjugated estrogens, parity, hypertension, menstrual status, or smoking. An association with obesity was shown but could not be shown to be independent of other risk factors.
ASJC Scopus subject areas