Gallstones increase diabetes risk

Researchers identify new risk factors for age-related sugar

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People with gallstones have a 42 percent higher risk of developing childhood fat than people without. In contrast, kidney stones seem to play little role in diabetes risk. A German research team has now come to this conclusion in a new study.

The scientists led by Heiner Boeing and Cornelia Weikert of the German Institute for Nutritional Research (DIfE) together with Steffen Weikert from the University Hospital Charité Berlin report on their results in the online edition of the journal "American Journal of Epidemiology".

Massive obesity increases gallstone risk

Gallstones and kidney stones are more common in people with Western lifestyles, with massive overweight being a major risk factor. In addition, research suggests that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to get gallstones. So far, however, it was unclear whether, conversely, bile or kidney stones are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, that is, diabetes risk factors.

Data from the Potsdam EPIC study participants analyzed

To investigate this question, the team of scientists around Boeing analyzed the data of the Potsdam EPIC study participants. At the beginning of the study, 3, 293 of the men and women involved reported known gallbladder and 2, 468 participants known kidney stones. Over the course of the study, 849 out of 25, 166 study participants developed diabetes over a period of approximately seven years.

Regardless of age, gender, waist circumference, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and alcohol intake, people with gallstones had a 1.42-fold increased risk of developing diabetes. On the other hand, the risk of diabetes was not greater in people with kidney stones. display

Kidney stones do not matter

"According to our data, gallstones are a clear risk factor for diabetes and could be used together with other factors to make the assessment of individual diabetes risk more precise. By contrast, kidney stones play no role in predicting diabetes risk, "explains Boeing, head of the Potsdam EPIC study.

"If gallstones appear, one should seek advice from the family doctor about signs of diabetes and individual risk, " recommends Weikert. In addition, the gallstone disease gives rise to a reason to think about his diet as well as his lifestyle and to strengthen his recommendations for prevention. Last but not least, doctors who detect gallstones in their patients should also consider the increased risk of diabetes when continuing to care for them

(idw - Deutsches Institut für Ern hrungsforschung Potsdam-Rehbr cke, 27.01.2010 - DLO)