Korean J Gastroenterol.  2020 May;75(5):240-245. 10.4166/kjg.2020.75.5.240.

Obesity and Pancreatobiliary Disease

  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, Department of Internal Medicine, Hallym University Dongtan Sacred Heart Hospital, Hwaseong, Korea


Obesity has become a major medical and public health problem worldwide. Recent studies have shown that obesity is a chronic disease that is associated with many diseases, such as gallstone disease, acute pancreatitis, fatty liver, and digestive cancer. Obesity is also a risk factor for the formation of cholesterol gallstones. Clinical and epidemiological studies have suggested that obesity is positively associated with the risk of gallbladder cancer. Obesity may modulate the lipid and endogenous hormones metabolism, affect gallbladder motility, increase the risk of gallstones, and increased the risk of gallbladder cancer. In addition, obesity has been considered a risk factor for pancreatic diseases, including pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. Obese patients develop systemic and local complications of acute pancreatitis more frequently. Several epidemiologic studies have suggested an association of pancreatic cancer with high body mass and lack of physical activity. This study reviewed the literature on obesity and pancreatobiliary disease in terms of epidemiology and mechanism.


Obesity; Gallstones; Gallbladder cancer; Acute pancreatitis; Pancreatic cancer
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