BACKGROUND - Cholelithiasis and cholecystectomy have been proposed as risk factors for liver cancer, but findings have been inconsistent. We assessed this association using data from the Shanghai Women's and Men's Health Studies.
METHODS - History of cholelithiasis and cholecystectomy were reported at baseline and follow-up interviews, and liver cancer diagnoses were ascertained from the Shanghai Cancer Registry and Vital Statistics Unit. Adjusted hazard ratios (aHRs) and 95% CIs were calculated after adjustment for potential confounders.
RESULTS - A history of cholelithiasis and cholecystectomy was reported by 9.5% and 3.6% of participants at baseline, respectively. After a total of 859,882 person-years of follow-up for women and 391,093 for men, incident liver cancer was detected in 160 women and 252 men. A positive association was observed between a history of cholelithiasis or cholecystectomy and liver cancer in men (aHR 1.46; 95% CI 1.02 to 2.07) and women (aHR 1.55; 95% CI 1.06 to 2.26). Similar results were observed for cholelithiasis only, but cholecystectomy did not reach statistical significance. There was no strong evidence for detection bias of liver cancer due to cholelithiasis or cholecystectomy.
CONCLUSIONS - Our study suggests that cholelithiasis and possibly cholecystectomy may increase the risk of liver cancer.