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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Asymptomatic Gallstones in a Sample of Population in Basrah, Iraq

Shukrya Kamil Khalaf, Jawad Hassan Al Mousawi, Alaa Hussein, Jassim Al Asadi

Background: Asymptomatic gallstones can be identified as incidental finding during routine ultrasound examination for other abdominal condition.

Methods: This study was a cross-sectional, which was conducted at the ultrasound departments of Al-Basrah General Hospital and Al-Fayhaa Hospital in Basrah city, over a period of six months from June to December 2015.

A total sample of 1001 participants were included in the study, interviewing them was done using a questionnaire covering information about socio-demographic characteristics and medical history related to the risk of gallstone formation in general population (history of DM, family history of gallstones, history of smoking and history of oral contraceptives use in females).

Results: The prevalence of gallstone was 13.6%. It increased with advanced age. Female gender, people with low level of education, and women who had more than 4 children were more liable to have gallstones. Those with medical history of diabetes mellitus, persons with family history of gallstones, high serum cholesterol, and overweight or obesity also showed significant association with gallstones. No association was found between gallstones and history of smoking, history of hemolytic anemia, and history of oral contraceptive use.

Conclusion: The prevalence of asymptomatic gallstone was relatively high in this region. Female gender, age, high cholesterol level, family history of gallstones, and increased BMI were independent risk factors for gallstones formation.