How common are gallstones?

About 700,000 people in the United States need surgery for gallstones each year.1 In the United States, about 10% of people older than 40 have gallstones.2

More women than men develop gallstones. People who are obese are more likely to develop gallstones than people who are not overweight.


  1. Glasgow RE, Mulvihill SJ (2006). Treatment of gallstone disease. In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 8th ed., vol. 1, pp. 1419–1442. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier.
  2. Persley KM, Jain R (2008). Gallstones and biliary tract disease. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 4, chap. 6. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.

Last Updated: July 22, 2009

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