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This study aimed to identify the prevalences of and risk factors associated with the development of gallbladder stones and polyps in a large Chinese population.Prevalences of and risk factors for biliary stones and gallbladder polyps were retrospectively investigated among subjects who underwent a general check-up at the Health Screening Centres of Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Beijing Charity Hospital between January 2007 and June 2010.A total of 60 064 people were enrolled in the study. Overall prevalences of biliary stones and gallbladder polyps were 4.2% (n= 2527) and 6.9% (n= 4119), respectively. Risk factors associated with increased odds ratios (ORs) for the development of biliary stones were female gender (OR = 1.51), age ≥50 years (OR = 2.09), history of hypertension (OR = 1.37), thickened gallbladder wall (cholecystitis) (OR = 1.98), fasting blood glucose ≥6.10 mmol/l (OR = 1.27), body mass index ≥25 kg/m2 (OR = 1.25), systolic blood pressure ≥140 mmHg (OR = 1.31) and diastolic blood pressure ≥90 mmHg (OR = 1.44). Factors associated with gallbladder polyps were female gender (OR = 0.66), thickened gallbladder wall (OR = 2.09), negativity for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and positivity for hepatitis B core antibody (anti-HBc) (OR = 2.61), and positivity for both HBsAg and anti-HBc (OR = 3.21).Prevalences of biliary stones and gallbladder polyps among Chinese people are similar to those reported for other populations. Biliary stones appear to be associated with female gender, age, obesity, blood glucose, blood pressure and cholecystitis. Male gender, hepatitis B virus infection and cholecystitis were strong risk factors for the formation of gallbladder polyps.