The study shows people who are relatively healthy from the outside are at increased risk of developing heat disease if they've suffered from gallstones in the past.
A massive study has revealed a connection between gallstones and an increased risk of heart disease even in those who seem relatively healthy.
The study, conducted by Lu Qi, professor of epidemiology at Tulane University in New Orleans, involved examining nearly 840,000 people who have a history of gallstones and found that there was a 23 percent chance they would develop heart disease over the next few decades, according to The Telegraph.
The more alarming part of this result was that there was no link with obesity, diabetes or high blood pressure – the common causes of developing heart disease. This shows that seemingly healthy people are still at risk.
While those suffering with diabetes and other heart disease indicators are more aware of the risk, this could pose a problem for people who don’t realize they are potentially prone to coronary heart disease and highlights the need to be more closely monitored.
“Our results suggest that patients with gallstone disease should be monitored closely based on a careful assessment of both gallstone and heart disease risk factors,” stated Qi.
The gallbladder is a small organ where bile liquid is stored to help break down fats digested into the body. It’s here that a build up of hard particles, known as gallstones, can occur when there is an imbalance in the bile usually caused by excess cholesterol. Most people who suffer from gallstones won’t know they have them but once they have the potential to build up they can be extremely painful.
The study clearly shows the intricate connections between different parts of the body and calls for more attention to protect heart health through what we eat.
“To help protect your heart health, you may also need to protect your gastrointestinal system,” explains Qi.
The research was published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.