Bismillah, alhamdulillah:

The sort of question that can send a family doctor into a slightly dizzy spell. But it wasn’t too long before UpToDate gave me a stab at the answer, the table (below) is taken from UpToDate and shows an interesting variation with low incidence in Chinese and Japanese women aged between 20-40 (around 2-3 %) to 6-12% in UK/US and a very high percentage in Pima Indians (touching ~70%) ! My patient’s question was should she have the gallstones removed removed prophylactically before her pregnancy or not? Eye balling the figures I went for an prevalence of 10% in potentially fertile ladies having gallstones, which should imply 10% of pregnant women also have gallstones. I asked her, ‘When was the last time you heard that 10% of pregnant ladies needed to have their gallbladders removed?’ This brought the message home to my patient and she could visualise the statistics and felt comfortable leaving the stones as they were totally asymptomatic and she had no risk factors for gallbladder cancer.

Fantastic UpToDate!

Prevalence of Gallstones


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