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What are the risk factors for men in developing gallstones?

A:

Quick Answer

Common risk factors for men in developing gallstones include ethnicity, age, genetics, obesity, lifestyle changes, drugs and certain medical conditions. However, the formation of gallstones is more prevalent in women, with the risk twice as greater in women than in men, according to the University of Chicago Medicine.

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Full Answer

The gallbladder is the storage organ for bile, which is a type of digestive fluid containing salts, bilirubin and cholesterol. Excessive secretion of bile by the liver and slow removal of the contents of the gallbladder can result in the formation of the hardened stone-like deposits called gallstones.

In the United States, approximately 25 million people have gallstones, with another million diagnosed with the disease on an annual basis, as reported by the New York Times. Men who are 60 years old and above are likely to develop gallstones. Generally, around 20 percent of men aged 75 have the condition, although the results of one study showed that 51 percent of male nursing home patients had gallstones.

Native North American men and those with a family history involving gallstones are also more susceptible to developing the disease. Obese men and those who cycle from gaining and then rapidly losing weight are also at higher risk. Men who take medications to reduce cholesterol levels, such as gemfibrozil and fenofibrate, have increased likelihood of developing gallstones. These drugs are medically proven to actually increase cholesterol production. Diabetic men and those with Crohn's disease, cirrhosis and blood disorders also have greater potential for developing gallstones.

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