Cholecystectomy is independently associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in an Asian population.World J Gastroenterol 2015; 21(20):6287-95WJ
To investigate the relationship between gallstone disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in a large Asian population.
A cross-sectional study including 17612 subjects recruited from general health check-ups at the Seoul National University Hospital, Healthcare System Gangnam Center between January 2010 and December 2010 was conducted. NAFLD and gallstone disease were diagnosed based on typical ultrasonographic findings. Subjects who were positive for hepatitis B or C, or who had a history of heavy alcohol consumption (> 30 g/d for men and > 20 g/d for women) or another type of hepatitis were excluded. Gallstone disease was defined as either the presence of gallstones or previous cholecystectomy, and these two entities (gallstones and cholecystectomy) were analyzed separately. Clinical parameters including body mass index, waist circumference, hypertension, diabetes, smoking status, and regular physical activity were reviewed. Laboratory parameters, including serum levels of gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, fasting glucose, fasting insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein, were also reviewed.
The mean age of the subjects was 48.5 ± 11.3 years, and 49.3% were male. Approximately 30.3% and 6.1% of the subjects had NAFLD and gallstone disease, respectively. The prevalence of gallstone disease (8.3% vs 5.1%, P < 0.001), including both the presence of gallstones (5.5% vs 3.4%, P < 0.001) and a history of cholecystectomy (2.8% vs 1.7%, P < 0.001), was significantly increased in the NAFLD group. In the same manner, the prevalence of NAFLD increased with the presence of gallstone disease (41.3% vs 29.6%, P < 0.001). Multivariate regression analysis showed that cholecystectomy was associated with NAFLD (OR = 1.35, 95%CI: 1.03-1.77, P = 0.028). However, gallstones were not associated with NAFLD (OR = 1.15, 95%CI: 0.95-1.39, P = 0.153). The independent association between cholecystectomy and NAFLD was still significant after additional adjustment for insulin resistance (OR = 1.45, 95%CI: 1.01-2.08, P = 0.045).
This study shows that cholecystectomy, but not gallstones, is independently associated with NAFLD after adjustment for metabolic risk factors. These data suggest that cholecystectomy may be an independent risk factor for NAFLD.