- 1Department of Surgery, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
- 2Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Erasmus MC University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
- 3Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
Objectives: Obesity is a risk factor for several phenotypes such as gallstones, metabolic syndrome (MS), and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). It has been suggested that cholecystectomy is a risk factor for metabolic abnormalities and NAFLD. We aimed to determine whether cholecystectomy is associated with MS or NAFLD in a Dutch population-based study.
Methods: The Rotterdam Study is an ongoing prospective population-based cohort. We included participants who underwent a liver ultrasound between 2009 and 2014 to assess steatosis. The prevalence of MS and NAFLD was calculated, and we performed regression analyses relating cholecystectomy with MS and NAFLD and adjusted for age, sex, study cohort, education level, physical activity, energy intake, time since cholecystectomy, body mass index, presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and steatosis/MS.
Results: We included 4,307 participants (57.5% women, median age 66.0 years [interquartile range 58-74]). In total, 265 participants (6.2%) underwent a cholecystectomy. The median age at the time of cholecystectomy was 57.0 years (47.5-66.5), and the median time from cholecystectomy to imaging of the liver was 10.0 years (0.5-19.5). The prevalence of MS in participants with cholecystectomy was 67.2% and 51.9% in participants without cholecystectomy (P < 0.001). Ultrasound diagnosed moderate/severe NAFLD was present in, respectively, 42.7% and 34.2% of the participants (P = 0.008). After multivariable adjustments for metabolic factors, cholecystectomy was no longer associated with the presence of MS or NAFLD.
Discussion: The prevalence of MS and NAFLD is higher in participants after cholecystectomy. However, our trial shows that cholecystectomy may not be independently associated with the presence of MS and NAFLD after correction for metabolic factors.