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Keywords:

  • gallbladder (GB) disease;
  • ischaemic heart disease (IHD);
  • antihypertensive agents;
  • thiazide diuretics;
  • observational studies

Abstract

Purpose

Both gallbladder (GB) and cardiovascular disease are very common diagnoses that carry substantial economic costs. Prior studies suggest that personal history of ischaemic heart disease (IHD) could determine the occurrence of GB disease. Additionally the use of thiazide diuretics may also be a risk factor for this condition. We aimed to evaluate different cardiovascular conditions and related drugs that could be associated with GB disease.

Methods

We identified all incident cases of gallbladder disease occurring during 1996 among patients aged 20–79 years old registered in the General Practitioner Research Database. We performed a nested case control analysis using 2353 cases and 10 000 controls frequency matched to the cases by age and sex.

Results

After adjusting for potential confounders IHD was associated with a small increased risk of GB disease (1.29, 95%CI:1.08–1.55). When only cases requiring cholecystectomy were considered in the analysis, the resulting estimate was 1.06 (95%CI:0.83–1.35). Users of thiazide diuretics presented an OR of 1.36 (95%CI:1.08–1.71). Other antihypertensive drugs were not associated with GB disease.

Conclusions

Our results confirm the small increased risk of GB disease associated with thiazide diuretics. On the other hand, our data do not support a major association between IHD and GB disease. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.