We studied the relation between alcohol drinking and gallstone disease, using data from the 1983 Italian National Health Survey. This survey included information on 58,462 adults age 25 years and over (27,912 males and 30,550 females), randomly selected within strata of geographical area, size of the municipality of residence, and size of the household. The prevalence of gallstone disease or cholecystectomy was 2.4% among males and 4.8% among females. Compared with alcohol abstainers, the relative risk of gallstone disease, controlling for age, sex, education, smoking, and body mass index, was 0.83 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.73–0.92] for occasional and regular moderate drinkers (<25 ml of ethanol per day), 0.67 (95% CI = 0.59–0.77) for intermediate drinkers (25–50 ml per day), and 0.58 (95% CI = 0.47–0.70) for heavy drinkers. This inverse association was consistent across strata of age, sex, and body mass index. (Epidemiology 1994:5:533–536)
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