Background: Osteopontin (OPN) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine which is expressed in various tissues. It participates in the bone remodeling process and stimulates bone resorption by osteoclasts. It is also a core protein of cholesterol gallstones. We hypothesized osteoporotic patients might have higher risk in developing gallstones and conducted a population-based study to examine the risk of developing gallstone in osteoporotic patients in Taiwan. Methods: A total of 1,638 patients diagnosed with osteoporosis between 2003 and 2005 were identified in the National Health Insurance Research Database. A comparison cohort without osteoporosis (n =6,552) was randomly matched to each osteoporosis patient at a ratio of 4: 1 based on age and sex. A Cox proportional-hazards regression analysis was performed to evaluate the 5-year gallstone-free survival rates for the 2 cohorts. Results: During the 5-year follow-up period, 114 and 311 cases of gallstone occurred in the osteoporosis and comparison cohorts, respectively. After adjusting for the confounders, the Cox regression analysis of the risk of gallstone in the osteoporosis and comparison cohorts yielded a hazard ratio of 1.35 (95% confidence interval: 1.07 - 1.69; p <0 .01). Conclusion: Patients with osteoporosis in Taiwan have a higher risk of developing gallstone than the general population.
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