Gallstone Disease Is Associated With Arterial Stiffness Progression

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Gallstones have been linked to dyslipidemia, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease. Arterial stiffness is an indicator of subclinical atherosclerosis. The aim of this study was to prospectively examine the relationship between gallstone disease and arterial stiffness progression in 347 men and 454 women. These subjects were followed for 7 years. Arterial stiffness progression was measured based on increases in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. Changes in brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity during the study period were significantly greater in patients with gallstones than in subjects without gallstones. After adjusting for multiple risk factors, gallstone disease was found to be a significant and independent predictor of brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity progression (β=0.189; P<0.001). In conclusion, gallstone disease is an independent predictor of arterial stiffness progression, even after adjusting for other cardiovascular risk factors.