BACKGROUND: Obesity increases the risk of hospital admission for gallbladder disease but its impact on the length of hospital stay is largely unknown. METHODS: Prospective population-based study of 1.3 million women aged 56 years on average, recruited from 1996 to 2001 in England and Scotland and followed-up through NHS hospital admission record databases for gallbladder disease (cholelithiasis, cholecystitis, cholecystectomy) over a total of 7.8 million person-years. RESULTS: During follow-up, 24 953 women were admitted with gallbladder disease, 87% who had a cholecystectomy. After adjusting for age, socioeconomic status and other factors, women with higher BMI at recruitment to the study were more likely to be admitted and spend more days in hospital. For 1000 person-years of follow-up, women in BMI categories of 18.5-24.9, 25-29.9, 30-39.9, 40+ kg/m(2) spent, respectively, 16.5[16.0-17.0], 28.6[28.3-28.8], 44.0[43.4-44.5] and 49.4[45.7-53.0] days in hospital for gallbladder disease. CONCLUSION: On the basis of these estimates, over a quarter of all the days in hospital for gallbladder disease in middle-aged women can be attributed to obesity.

Original publication




Journal article


J Public Health (Oxf)

Publication Date





161 - 166


Body Mass Index, Cholecystectomy, England, Female, Gallbladder Diseases, Humans, Length of Stay, Middle Aged, Obesity, Patient Admission, Population Surveillance, Proportional Hazards Models, Prospective Studies, Scotland