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July 1971

Gallbladder Disease in Southwestern American Indians

Author Affiliations

Torrance, Calif; Tuba City, Ariz; Torrance, Calif
From the Department of Surgery, Fort Defiance (Ariz) Indian Hospital. This investigation was sponsored by John R. Benfield, MD. Dr. Nelson is now with Harbor General Hospital, Torrance, Calif, and UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Surg. 1971;103(1):41-43. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1971.01350070067015

Southwestern American Indians suffer from gallbladder disease at a rate more than double that of the American non-Indian population. This report describes a two-year experience with 101 patients undergoing cholecystectomy at the Fort Defiance Indian hospital on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Northern Arizona. Our results show a high female-to-male sex ratio (4.6:1), a low average age in women undergoing cholecystectomy (42.4 years), a high incidence of associated common duct stones (16%), and a high rate of gallbladder malignancy (6 percent).