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The effect of smoking on the risk of gallbladder cancer: a meta-analysis of observational studies

Wenbin, Dinga; Zhuo, Chena; Zhibing, Minga; Chen, Zhoua; Ruifan, Yuana; Jie, Jina; Cheng, Qiana; Zhenming, Geb

European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology: March 2013 - Volume 25 - Issue 3 - p 373–379
doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e32835a870b
Original Articles: Biliary Disorders

Background Cigarette smoking has been shown to cause many nonpulmonary cancers, including those of liver, pancreas and bladder. However, results of epidemiologic studies examining the association between smoking and gallbladder cancer (GBC) have been mixed. To clarify the association of cigarette smoking and GBC, we performed a meta-analysis of observational studies.

Methods A literature search was performed using Medline (from 1 January 1966) and Embase (from 1 January 1974), through 31 January 2012, and by manually searching the reference lists of pertinent articles. Summary relative risks (SRRs) with corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with a random-effects model.

Results A total of 11 articles (10 case–control and one prospective cohort studies) were used in this meta-analysis, which is based on a total of 1178 GBC cases. Analysis of 11 studies found that smokers had an increased risk of GBC development, compared with nonsmokers (SRRs 1.45, 95% CIs, 1.11–1.89). There was moderate heterogeneity among studies (Q=18.15, P=0.052, I2=44.9%). These increased risks were independent of alcohol use and a history of gallstones. No significant publication bias was found.

Conclusion Although the current evidence supports a positive link between cigarette smoking and risk of gallbladder cancer, additional population-based studies, particularly cohort studies, are needed before definitive conclusions can be drawn.

Departments of aInterventional Radiology

bGastroenterology, The First People’s Hospital of Nantong, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to Ge Zhenming, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, The First People’s Hospital of Nantong, 6 Haierxiang North road, Nantong, 226001 Jiangsu, China Tel/fax: +86 0513 85061003; e-mail: zhenmingge@126.com

Received May 4, 2012

Accepted September 18, 2012

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.