What are risk factors for gallstones?

Harsha Vittal, MD
Risk factors for developing gallstones include being female, being overweight and family history. In this video, gastroenterologist Harsha Vittal, MD, of Good Samaritan Hospital describes other factors that could put you at risk.
The following risk factors may increase the likelihood that you will develop gallstones, which are hard, pebble-like deposits that can occur in your gallbladder:
  • Your gender. Gallstones are more common in women than in men.
  • Your family history. Gallstones tend to run in families, so if other family members have had gallstones, you may be at increased risk for them, too.
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Taking birth control pills
  • Taking cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins
  • Very rapid weight loss
  • Fasting
  • Being fed intravenously
  • Certain blood disorders, including sickle cell anemia or hemolytic anemia

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.