Anthropometric Measurements, Physical Activity, and the Risk of Symptomatic Gallstone Disease in Chinese Women

Lifang Hou*, Xiao Ou Shu, Yu Tang Gao, Bu Tian Ji, Jocelyn M. Weiss, Gong Yang, Hong Lan Li, Aaron Blair, Wei Zheng, Wong Ho Chow

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Purpose: Gallstone disease is more common among overweight individuals, particularly in women. We conducted a cross-sectional case-control study of Chinese women nested in the Shanghai Women's Health Study (SWHS) to evaluate the association of gallstone disease with body mass index (BMI), waist to hip ratio (WHR), and physical activity (PA). Methods: The study included 8,485 women with self-reported, physician-diagnosed, prevalent gallstone disease and 16,970 frequency-matched controls by birth year and age at gallstone diagnosis (4-year intervals). Information on height, weight history, waist and hip circumferences, physical activities, and other exposures was obtained by in-person interview. Results: : Usual BMI (p trend < 0.001) and WHR (p trend < 0.001) were both related to a high prevalence of gallstone disease, and a significant interaction between BMI and WHR on gallstone risk was found (odds ratio [OR] = 3.82, 95%CI [95% confidence interval] 2.47-5.23 for those with both highest BMI and WHR relative to those with lowest BMI and WHR, p interaction = 0.03). Gallstone risk was positively associated with cumulative occupational sitting time (p trend = 0.01) and inversely associated with occupational cumulative energy expenditure (p trend = 0.03) as well as with household PA (p trend = 0.02). Conclusions: Our findings further support that overall and central excessive adiposity is an independent risk factor for gallstones in women. In addition, regardless of adiposity level, being physically active may ameliorate the risk of this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)344-350
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Epidemiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Body Mass Index
  • Gallstone Disease Risk
  • Physical Activity
  • Waist-to-Hip Ratio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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