Alcohol consumption and risk of gallstone disease: a meta-analysis

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Epidemiology studies have been carried out to investigate the association between alcohol consumption and the risk of gallstone disease, but the results remain controversial. We carried out a meta-analysis to quantitatively summarize the evidences from observational studies on alcohol consumption and the risk of gallstone disease. Eligible studies published in English were identified by searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase databases. The random-effect model was used to calculate the pooled relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Restricted cubic splines were used to assess the dose–response relationship. Eight cohort studies and 10 case–control studies were included in our meta-analysis. The pooled RR of gallstone disease for the highest versus the lowest alcohol consumption was 0.62 (95% CI: 0.49–0.78). Statistically significant associations were also found in stratified analysis by study design (cohort studies: RR=0.66, 95% CI: 0.48–0.91 and case–control studies: RR=0.58, 95% CI: 0.45–0.73). With respect to sex, both men (RR=0.57, 95% CI: 0.4–0.8) and women (RR=0.64, 95% CI: 0.53–0.77) showed statistically significant associations between alcohol consumption and the risk of gallstone disease. A linear dose–response relationship was found between alcohol consumption and gallstone disease risk and the risk of gallstone disease decreased by 12% (RR=0.88, 95% CI: 0.84–0.92; Pnonlinearity=0.079) for each 10 g/day increment in alcohol consumption. This meta-analysis suggests that alcohol consumption is associated with significantly decreased risk of gallstone disease.

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