Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 44, Issue 8, pp 1619–1625

A Case-Control Assessment of Risk Factors for Gallbladder Carcinoma


  • Thayer E. Scott
  • Mitchell Carroll
  • Francis D. Cogliano
  • Bernard F. Smith
  • Wayne W. Lamorte

DOI: 10.1023/A:1026675329644

Cite this article as:
Scott, T.E., Carroll, M., Cogliano, F.D. et al. Dig Dis Sci (1999) 44: 1619. doi:10.1023/A:1026675329644


Gallbladder carcinoma is an uncommon, but highlyfatal disease. Its symptoms frequently mirror those ofgallstone disease, and in most instances, diagnosis isan incidental finding at surgery. While risk factors have been suggested for this cancer,many may in reality simply be a consequence of the olderage of the population. This study is one of the few toapproach this question by using a case-control study design comparing gallbladder carcinomapatients with a gallstone population, coupled withmultivariate analysis to determine age-independent riskfactors. Univariate analyses showed gallbladdercarcinoma patients to be older than gallstone patientsand to have many age-associated diseases. Followingmultiple regression adjustment for age, this disease wasassociated with female gender and with a previous history of gallstone symptoms. Carcinomapatients were less likely to have cholesterol gallstonesin their gallbladders at surgery. A previous history ofsmoking was a substantial risk but of borderline statistical significance. Previous studiesreport associations that may be due to the older age ofthe gallbladder carcinoma patient. Our results show thatafter adjusting for age with multivariate analysis, gallbladder cancer subjects were predominantlyfemale, more likely to report previous gallstonesymptomology, and to smoke. While gallstones were notuniversally isolated from carcinoma patients atcholecystectomy, when present, they were less frequentlyclassified as cholesterol gallstones based on visualinspection. Further cohort studies which target thesepopulations will allow us to gain a more solid consensus on the risk factors for this disease.


Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1999