The prevalence of gallbladder polyps as assessed by ultrasonography in a random population was 4.6% among men and 4.3% among women. The size of most polyps was 3 mm or more but never exceeded 10 mm. The prevalence of polyps was not significantly associated with age, sex, social factors, weight factors, physical activity, diabetes mellitus, pregnancies, use of exogenous female hormones, intake of alcohol, or plasma lipids. Polyps among men were significantly associated with a history of no smoking. This lack of risk factor profile resembled that of cholesterolosis, as seen in the literature, whereas it was quite different from that of gallstones. It is concluded that polyps in the gallbladder are common in a random population, and, although it is known from the literature that some cases may represent gallstones, the vast majority most probably represent the polypoid variation of cholesterolosis.
Glostrup Population Studies, Dept. of Internal Medicine C, Glostrup Hospital, Denmark.