From a cross sectional study of gall stone disease ascertained by ultrasonography, the prevalence in relation to age at menarche, use of oral contraceptives, childbirths, breastfeeding, abortions, age at menopause, and menopausal hormone therapy was assessed. The random sample comprised 2301 women of Danish origin aged 30, 40, 50, and 60 years, of whom 1765 (77%) attended the investigation. Gall stone disease was significantly associated with young age at menarche, abortions, and multiple childbirth. Use of oral contraceptives was significantly associated with gall stone disease in univariate analysis, but not in multivariate analysis. Breastfeeding, age at menopause and menopausal hormone therapy were not associated with gall stones. These determining variables seemed sufficient to explain the higher prevalence of gall stone disease in women than in men.
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