Gallstone Disease May Increase Heart Disease Risk

According to a study out of the American Heart Association and published in the journal Arteriosclerosis Thrombosis and Vascular Biology, a history of gallstone disease was linked to a 23 percent increased risk of developing coronary heart disease. Preventing gallstone disease may also benefit heart health. Gallstone disease is one of the most common and costly gastrointestinal disorders in the United States and has similar risk factors to coronary heart disease including diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and poor diet.

The meta-analysis of seven studies revealed this relationship.

“Our results suggest that patients with gallstone disease should be monitored closely based on a careful assessment of both gallstone and heart disease risk factors. Preventing gallstone disease may also benefit heart health.”

Interestingly, in a separate meta-analysis, researchers found coronary heart disease occurred more often with a history of gallstone disease – even if the individuals were otherwise healthy (were not obese, diabetic or had high blood pressure).

The researchers did not identify why gallstone disease and coronary heart disease were linked in this study, but one theory is that gallstones may affect bile acid secretion, which has been related to cardiovascular risk factors. In addition, gut microbiota has been related to cardiovascular disease.

The researcher added, “Patients with gallstones also have abnormal abundance and metabolism in their gut microbiota.”

So be aware of coronary heart disease if you have had gallstone disease.


raziRazi Berry, Founder and Publisher of Naturopathic Doctor News & Review (ndnr.com) and NaturalPath (thenatpath.com), has spent the last decade as a natural medicine advocate and marketing whiz. She has galvanized and supported the naturopathic community, bringing a higher quality of healthcare to millions of North Americans through her publications. A self-proclaimed health-food junkie and mother of two; she loves all things nature, is obsessed with organic gardening, growing fruit trees (not easy in Phoenix), laughing until she snorts, and homeschooling. She is a little bit crunchy and yes, that is her real name.

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