Obesity and the risk and prognosis of gallstone disease and pancreatitis

Leonilde Bonfrate, David Q.H. Wang, Gabriella Garruti, Piero Portincasa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Obesity is a risk factor for the formation of cholesterol gallstones and exposes patients to increased risk of gallstone-related complications and cholecystectomy. Rapid weight loss achieved by very low calorie diets or bariatric surgery is also a risk factor for cholelithiasis in obese patients, and therapy should take into account the higher prevalence of gallstones, the possibility of more frequent complications and the need for prophylactic treatment with oral ursodeoxycholic acid during weight loss. Obesity is also frequent in children and adolescents, and the burden of cholesterol cholelithiasis is increasing in this population. The chance to develop acute pancreatitis and the severity of the disease are higher in obese subjects because of specific pathogenic factors, including supersaturated bile and crystal formation, rapid weight.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)623-635
Number of pages13
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Bariatric surgery
  • Cholecystectomy
  • Cholesterol
  • Gallbladder motility
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Rapid weight loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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