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Outcome of Acute Cholecystitis in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus

DAVID F. RANSOHOFF, M.D.; GWENDOLYN L. MILLER, B.A.; SARAH B. FORSYTHE, M.D.; and ROBERT E. HERMANN, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to David F. Ransohoff, M.D.; Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar Street, P.O. Box 3333; New Haven, CT 06510.


Cleveland, Ohio


© 1987 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians


Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(6):829-832. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-106-6-829
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Prophylactic cholecystectomy has been recommended in patients who have diabetes and silent gallstones because of the reports of increased mortality resulting from acute cholecystitis in such patients. To assess recent mortality rates, we reviewed the course of acute cholecystitis in patients hospitalized between 1960 and 1981 at one hospital. Death occurred in 3 of 46 patients with diabetes and in 7 of 263 patients without the disease (p = 0.55). The age-adjusted estimate of the relative risk for death was 2.2 (95% confidence interval, 0.5 to 9.4) for diabetic compared with nondiabetic patients. All 3 diabetic patients who died had been diagnosed as having diabetes within 5 years of death, and only one had been taking insulin. Patients who had elevated blood urea nitrogen levels ( > 20 mg/dL) were found to have an increased mortality rate when compared with patients with normal levels (27% compared with 2%; p < 0.001). Results were similar for the outcome of serious complications. These results suggest the need for reconsideration of the recommendation for prophylactic cholecystectomy in diabetic patients with silent gallstones.

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