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OBJECTIVE: Gallstone disease (GSD) is related to multiple cardiovascular risk factors; the present study was to prospectively examine the association between GSD and ischemic heart disease (IHD). APPROACH AND RESULTS: We examined the association of GSD with IHD among 199 292 men and 288 081 women aged 30-79 years in the China Kadoorie Biobank study. Participants with cancer, heart disease, and stroke at baseline were excluded. Cox proportional hazards regression model was used to estimate the association of GSD with IHD. The prevalence of self-reported GSD was 3.7% in men and 7.3% in women at baseline. During 3 431 124 person-years of follow-up between 2004 and 2013 (median, 7.2 years), we documented 10 245 incident IHD cases in men and 14 714 in women. As compared with men without GSD at baseline, the multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio for IHD was 1.11 (95% confidence interval, 1.02-1.22) for men with GSD; the respective hazard ratio was 1.27 (95% confidence interval, 1.20-1.34) in women and 1.23 (95% confidence interval, 1.17-1.28) in the whole cohort. The sex difference in IHD risk associated with GSD was statistically significant (P=0.009 for interaction with sex). In addition, we found that the association between GSD and IHD was stronger in nonhypertensive than in hypertensive women (P<0.001 for interaction). CONCLUSIONS: In this large prospective study, the presence of GSD was associated with an increased risk of incident IHD, independent of other risk factors of cardiovascular disease. Our findings suggest novel prevention strategy to mitigate heart disease through improvement of gastrointestinal health.

Original publication




Journal article


Arterioscler Thromb Vasc Biol

Publication Date





2232 - 2237


Chinese, cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart diseases, longitudinal cohort study, risk factor, Adult, Age Distribution, Aged, China, Comorbidity, Confidence Intervals, Databases, Factual, Female, Gallstones, Humans, Longitudinal Studies, Male, Middle Aged, Multivariate Analysis, Myocardial Ischemia, Prevalence, Prognosis, Proportional Hazards Models, Prospective Studies, Sex Distribution, Survival Analysis