Patients with iron deficiency anemia have an increased prevalence of gallstones

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Abstract

We determined the frequency of gallstones (GS) in iron deficiency anemia (IDA) patients and evaluated factors that could affect GS formation—like lipid levels and gallbladder (GB) motilities of the patients. One hundred and eleven IDA patients (88 females, 23 males; median age, 42) and 81 healthy controls (68 females, 13 males; median age, 42) were included into our study. The clinical findings of all IDA patients were recorded down; biochemical values and body mass index (BMI) were determined; and abdominal ultrasonography was performed. In addition, GB emptying was monitored by ultrasound at 30-min intervals for 2 h after a mixed meal in randomly chosen, age-matched 25 IDA patients and 26 controls. Fasting volume (FV), residual volume (RV), and ejection fraction (EF) for all GBs were determined. The frequency of GS plus cholecystectomy was significantly higher in IDA patients (15 cases, 13.5%) than in the control group (five cases, 6.2%, p = 0.048). IDA patients with GS plus cholecystectomy were older than those without GS plus cholecystectomy (p < 0.001). FV and EF did not differ between IDA and control groups (p > 0.05). On the other hand, RV was significantly higher in IDA group than in controls (p = 0.035). The frequency of GS in IDA patients was significantly higher than in controls. The increased prevalence of GS in IDA might be explained with impaired GB motility.

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