Published: 2020-04-23

Pattern of gallstone disease in an industrial township in India: are the risk factors different?

Mahesh Ram, Shehtaj Khan, Deepak K. Soni, Shirish Tiwari


Background: The prevalence of gallstones among different populations is varied, which reflects the role of genetic and environmental factors, besides common factors like age, sex, parity, obesity and diet. Being a commonly treated surgical problem, we attempted to study the epidemiology, risk factors and predisposing factors related to gallbladder disease in our setup- the industrial township of Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited (BHEL), Bhopal, India.

Methods: This was an observational study done over a period of 2 years. The patients were analyzed on the basis of age and sex distribution, dietary habits, body mass index, activity level, monthly income, family history, parity, associated illness if any, and abdominal ultrasound findings.

Results: Of 104 patients, 44 were males and 60 females, with female to male ratio being 1.36:1. The commonest age group to be affected was 61 to 70 years (35 patients, 33.65%). Better socioeconomic status, lower activity level, higher parity, vegetarian diet and consumption of plant-origin fats were the factors present in most patients. No family history was present in 97.11% patients.

Conclusions: As gallstones have multi-factorial etiology, it is difficult to disassociate their influence and to pin point towards the contribution of any one factor. But the results suggest that there is more than what meets the eye. Higher incidence in males and absence of family history point towards a cause not found in genes or at home, but something present in the workplace environment, where men form the major part of workforce.


Cholelithiasis, Gallstone disease, Risk factors, Epidemiology, Industrial township, BHEL

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