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Table 1 Main risk factors for gallstone formation

From: Gallstones top to toe: what the radiologist needs to know

Risk factors for gallstone formationComment
AgeThe incidence increases with age but symptomatic presentation is most common in middle age.
GenderMore common in females by a ratio of 2:1.
RaceMore common in Western, Caucasian, Hispanic and Native American populations.
Family historyA first degree relative with a history of gallstones doubles the risk.
ObesityIncreased risk of cholesterol stone formation.
Rapid weight lossBile stasis due to reduced calorie intake and increased cholesterol mobilisation.
HaemolysisThere is an increased incidence of associated with haemolytic disorders such as sickle cell disease and the thalassemias.
Oral contraceptives and oestrogen replacement therapy 
Raised serum lipidsIncreased risk of cholesterol stone formation.
Raised serum bilirubinIncreased risk of pigmented stone formation.
Gallbladder stasisStasis of flow allows stones time to form.
Diabetes mellitusInsulin resistance increases circulating cholesterol.
Crohn’s disease 
Certain medications