Journal Article

Dietary Protein and the Risk of Cholecystectomy in a Cohort of US Women

Chung-Jyi Tsai, Michael F. Leitzmann, Walter C. Willett and Edward L. Giovannucci

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 160, issue 1, pages 11-18
Published in print July 2004 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online July 2004 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI:
Dietary Protein and the Risk of Cholecystectomy in a Cohort of US Women

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In animals, vegetable protein can inhibit gallstone formation. Epidemiologic studies of dietary protein in relation to gallstone disease are sparse, and the effects of dietary protein of different origins are not clear. The authors aimed to examine the relation between dietary protein intake and risk of cholecystectomy among participants in the Nurses’ Health Study, a cohort study of US women in 11 states. During 20 years of follow-up (1980–2000), the authors documented 7,831 cases of cholecystectomy. After adjustment for age, other known or suspected risk factors, and specific fats in a multivariate model, the relative risk of cholecystectomy for women in the highest quintile of dietary total protein intake compared with women in the lowest quintile was 1.00 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.93, 1.08; p for trend = 0.46). When extreme quintiles were compared, the relative risk for animal protein intake was 1.07 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.15; p for trend = 0.08), whereas the relative risk for vegetable protein intake was 0.79 (95% CI: 0.71, 0.88; p for trend < 0.0001), with a significant dose-response relation. Additional mutual adjustment between animal and vegetable proteins did not materially alter the risks. These results suggest that increased consumption of vegetable protein in the context of an energy-balanced diet can reduce the risk of cholecystectomy in women.

Keywords: cholecystectomy; diet; dietary proteins; gallstones; risk; women; Abbreviation: CI, confidence interval.

Journal Article.  4829 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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