Prevalence of and risk factors for gallbladder polyps detected by ultrasonography among healthy Chinese: Analysis of 34 669 cases

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Background and Aim

Gallbladder (GB) polyps are tumor or tumor-like projections arising from GB mucosa. Although most polyps are benign, some early GB carcinomas present as polypoid lesions. The diagnosis of GB polyps is relatively easy by ultrasonography. Although numerous studies have investigated GB polyps, few studies have addressed the prevalence of and factors associated with GB polyps for specific ethnic populations. This study analyzes the prevalence and factors associated with GB polyps in a Chinese population who can afford a paid general checkup.


The prevalence of and risk factors for GB polyps diagnosed by ultrasonography were retrospectively investigated in 34 669 Chinese patients who underwent a general checkup at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital (Taipei, Taiwan) between 2000 and 2003. Demographic, hemogram, serum biochemistry, hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis C antibody, and ultrasonography study data was available for all the patients. The correlations between the prevalence of GB polyps and age, sex, body height, body weight, body mass index, hemogram, serum biochemistry, and viral markers were examined for all the patients.


Excluding the patients who underwent cholecystectomy, the overall prevalence of GB polyps was 9.5% and highest for middle-aged males. The analyzed risk factors with increased odds ratios (OR) for the development of GB polyps were male sex (OR 0.646, P < 0.0005) and hepatitis B virus surface antigen positivity (OR 1.113, P < 0.0005). Other demographic characteristics and biochemical parameters, including body height, body weight, body mass index, lipid profile, chronic hepatitis C virus infection, and liver function did not correlate with the presence of GB polyps.


The prevalence of GB polyps among the Chinese in this study is higher than that reported for other populations. Chinese males and other patients with chronic hepatitis B viral infections have a high risk for developing GB polyps.

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