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Gallstone Risk Higher in Men Who Lose, Regain Weight

Fluctuating weight, independent of body mass index, is a risk compared to steady weight

MONDAY, Nov. 27 (HealthDay News) -- Men who go through one or more cycles of losing and regaining weight have a greater risk of developing gallstones than men who maintain a steady weight, researchers report in the Nov. 27 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Chung-Jyi Tsai, M.D., of the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, and colleagues studied data on 24,729 men who intentionally lost weight then regained it periodically between 1988 and 1992, and during follow-up until 2002.

The researchers found that 1,222 men developed gallstones. Compared to those who maintained a steady weight, the relative risk of gallstones was 1.11 in light cyclers (those who had one or more episodes of losing and gaining 5 to 9 lbs.), 1.18 for moderate cyclers (10 to 19 lbs.), and 1.42 for severe cyclers (20 lbs. or more).

The relative risks of gallstones among those with two or more episodes of weight loss/gain were 1.10 for light cyclers, 1.28 for moderate cyclers, and 1.51 for severe cyclers, compared with those who maintained a steady weight.

"Our findings suggest that weight cycling, independent of body mass index, may increase the risk of gallstone disease among men," the authors write. "Larger weight fluctuation and more weight cycles are associated with greater risk."

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