In a recent research, it was discovered that the gallbladder condition and heart disease are more connected than previously thought. Although the meta-analysis used data based on hundreds of individuals, the reasons for the connection between these two conditions were not immediately clear.
What is Gallbladder Disease?
It is a condition characterized by solid pieces known as gallstones created in the gallbladder, an organ located under the liver. The condition is identified mostly by the pain which these gallstones cause, and their treatment is often needed right away. These solid pieces could be one of two types, being cholesterol stones, and pigment stones. The common causes of gallstones are genetic predisposition, weight, and poor dieting.
The above statistics, therefore, means that there is more likelihood of having gallbladder disease in cases of:
• Obesity – This raises the cholesterol level, thereby not letting the gallbladder empty as it should.
• Diabetes – This makes a patient have more tendency to a higher level of a body fat called triglycerides
• Taking medication for lowering the cholesterol level, which can form gallstones
The obvious mutual characteristic of these three risk factors are the high cholesterol level.
How is it Connected to Heart Disease?
Although the leading causes to heart disease are not yet fully researched and understood, the main risk factors are:
• High blood pressure
• Diabetes, and
• High cholesterol.
Stress may cause the heart to malfunction, also.
Although these similarities are quite close, the research from Tulane University, New Orleans (LA) states that the risk factors are much deeper.
What Does the Research from the Tulane University Show?
Recently, a professor of epidemiology at Tulane, Dr. Lu Qi, led a team which carried out a research on the relationship between coronary heart disease and gallstones. The research consisted of more than 840,000 participants. More than 50,000 were cases of coronary heart disease. The meta-analysis showed that 23% increase in the risk for heart disease is associated with the gallbladder disease.
The second analysis was formed on the data of 260,000 participant. Dr. Qi stated that, as the final result, heart disease is often seen alongside gallbladder disease due to their mutual high risk factors. However, Dr. Qi found that healthy persons with gallstones, which include those with no obesity, regular blood pressure, and no diabetes, still had a higher risk of heart disease than those who weren’t as healthy.
He went on to point out that the results obtained from the close monitoring of patients with gallstones indicated that the monitoring should be based on careful assessment of heart disease and gallstones risk factors. Although the close connection is not certain, the doctor added that preventing gallstone may benefit heart health.
Dr. Qi also hopes for these results to be followed up with further clinical trial. It should form a better and more informed understanding of the links between gallbladder disease and heart disease, leading to additional help of creating the proper treatment and prevention of these conditions.