New research suggests cholecystectomy may be associated with a reduced stroke risk in patients with gallstones.
Researchers examined data from Taiwan’s National Health Insurance Research Database on 310,712 gallstone patients divided into two groups: those who underwent cholecystectomy (intervention group) and those who did not (controls).
During the study period (2000-2012), 19,098 controls and 11,913 gallstone patients who underwent cholecystectomy had a stroke, translating to incidence rates of 17.8/1,000 person-years and 10.6/1,000 person-years, respectively.
After adjustment for age, sex and major co-morbidities, the researchers found cholecystectomy patients had significantly lower risks of overall stroke (HR 0.60; 95% CI 0.59-0.62), ischaemic stroke (HR 0.60; 95% CI 0.58-0.61) and haemorrhagic stroke (HR 0.55; 95% CI 0.51-0.58) than the non-cholecystectomy patients. Both asymptomatic and symptomatic gallstone patients had lower overall stroke risk after cholecystectomy.
Writing in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the authors said the findings provide evidence that gallstones may be one of the potential risk factors in stroke.
“Our findings require gastroenterologists and gastrointestinal surgeons to pay closer attention to the gallstone patients to implement stroke preventive measures, particularly in cases with conventional stroke risk factor(s),” the authors concluded.