- A history of gallstones may slightly increase the onset of colorectal cancer (CRC), but only in women, according to a large prospective cohort from 10 European countries.
Why this matters
- Findings warrant confirmation.
- Prospective cohort of 334,986 participants (ages 25-70 years) in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC).
- Gallstones were defined as self-reported history of gallstone diagnosis.
- Incident CRC was identified from cancer registries in 7 countries and by insurance records and active follow-up in 3.
- Funding: European Commission; International Agency for Research on Cancer.
- Gallstones were self-reported at baseline by 3917 men and 19,836 women.
- At mean follow-up of 13.6 years, incident CRC was diagnosed in 1832 men and 2178 women.
- Upon stratified analysis, women with gallstones had a 14% increased risk of developing CRC (HR, 1.14; P=.077), after adjustments for BMI, diabetes, alcohol intake, and physical activity.
- Men with gallstones had a nonsignificantly reduced risk of developing CRC (HR, 0.81; P=.10).
- The HR for women was not significantly altered by additional adjustment for reproductive history or waist circumference.
- Median age at diagnosis of gallstones was not associated with incident CRC.
- Observational design.
- No verification of gallstones in medical records.