Medical conditions, family history of cancer, and the risk of biliary tract cancers

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Scanty data exist on the role of personal medical conditions, except for gallstones, and family history of cancer on the risk of biliary tract cancers (BTC).


We analyzed this issue using data from two Italian case-control studies, including 159 cases of BTC and 795 matched hospital controls. Odds ratios (ORs) of BTC and corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using multiple logistic regression models.


Gallstones were associated with a 2-fold excess risk of BTC (95% CI 1.24-3.45). No significant associations were observed with other conditions investigated, including diabetes (OR 1.15, 95% CI 0.63-2.11), hypertension (OR 0.65, 95% CI 0.39-1.11), hyperlipidemia (OR 0.61, 95% CI 0.31-1.21), allergy (OR 0.64, 95% CI 0.29-1.40), gastroduodenal ulcer (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.24-1.12), hepatitis (OR 2.02, 95% CI 0.35-11.67), benign thyroid diseases (OR 1.16, 95% CI 0.56-2.40), hysterectomy (OR 1.19, 95% CI 0.53-2.68), unilateral oophorectomy (OR 1.75, 95% CI 0.44-6.93), and bilateral oophorectomy (OR 2.48, 95% CI 0.79-7.82). We found an excess risk of BTC in relation to family history of any cancer (OR 1.52, 95% CI 1.03-2.24) and family history of gallbladder cancer (OR 3.83, 95% CI 0.59-24.75).


The present study confirms a strong association between BTC and history of gallstones, and provides further evidence of a positive association with family history of cancer.

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