BACKGROUND: Concern exists regarding gallstones as an adverse event of very-low-calorie diets (VLCDs;
OBJECTIVE: To assess the risk of symptomatic gallstones requiring hospital care and/or cholecystectomy in a commercial weight loss program using VLCD or low-calorie diet (LCD).
DESIGN: A 1-year matched cohort study of consecutively enrolled adults in a commercial weight loss program conducted at 28 Swedish centers between 2006 and 2009. A 3-month weight loss phase of VLCD (500 kcal per day) or LCD (1200-1500 kcal per day) was followed by a 9-month weight maintenance phase. Matching (1:1) was performed by age, sex, body mass index, waist circumference and gallstone history (n=3320:3320). Gallstone and cholecystectomy data were retrieved from the Swedish National Patient Register.
RESULTS: One-year weight loss was greater in the VLCD than in the LCD group (-11.1 versus -8.1 kg; adjusted difference, -2.8 kg, 95% CI -3.1 to -2.4; P
CONCLUSION: The risk of symptomatic gallstones requiring hospitalization or cholecystectomy, albeit low, was 3-fold greater with VLCD than LCD during the 1-year commercial weight loss program.
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