Gallstones and risk of cancers of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas: a prospective study within two U.S. cohorts

Xiao Luo, Wanshui Yang, Amit D. Joshi, Kana Wu, Tracey G. Simon, Chen Yuan, Lina Jin, Lu Long, Mi Na Kim, Chun Han Lo, Xing Liu, Thomas A. Abrams, Brian M. Wolpin, Andrew T. Chan, Edward L. Giovannucci, Xuehong Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Gallstones may result in inflammation, altered bile flow, and changes in metabolic hormone levels, thereby increasing cancer risk. However, previous studies for gallstones and cancers of the liver, biliary tract and pancreas in the U.S. were relatively limited. Methods: We followed 115,036 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1982–2012) and 49,729 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2012). History of gallstones, including with or without performed cholecystectomy, was reported at baseline and updated through biennial questionnaires. The Cox proportional hazard regression model was used to calculate multivariable hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs). Results: During up to 30-year follow-up, we identified 204 incidents of liver cancer, 225 biliary tract cancer and 1147 pancreatic cancer cases. Compared to those without gallstones diagnosis, the multivariable HRs for individuals with gallstones (untreated or with cholecystectomy) were 1.60 for liver cancer (95% CI: 1.14–2.26), 4.79 for biliary tract cancer (95% CI: 3.02–7.58), and 1.13 for pancreatic cancer (95% CI: 0.96–1.32). The multivariable HRs for individuals with cholecystectomy were 1.33 for liver cancer (95% CI: 0.90–1.95) and 1.15 for pancreatic cancer (95% CI: 0.98–1.36). Conclusions: Gallstones were associated with a higher risk of cancers of the liver, biliary tract and possibly pancreas.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
DOIs
StatePublished - 5 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes

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