Table 1

Characteristics and outcomes of patients with and without referral and with and without cholecystectomy

All patients
(N=294)
Referral
(N=233)
No referral
(N=61)
Referral
Cholecystectomy
(N=185)
No cholecystectomy
(N=48)
Age, mean (SD)53.7 (14.2)54.1 (14.0)52.4 (15.1)53.1 (14.2)57.7 (12.9)*
Sex, female (%)187 (63.6)147 (63.1)40 (65.6)122 (65.9)25 (52.1)
BMI in kg/m2, mean (SD)†29.5 (5.7)29.7 (5.7)28.5 (5.8)30.0 (6.5)28.9 (4.7)
Concomitant abdominal-related diagnosis, n (%)182 (61.9)148 (63.5)34 (55.7)117 (63.2)31 (63.5)
Before diagnosis cholecystolithiasis116 (39.5)93 (39.9)23 (37.7)74 (40.0)19 (39.6)
After diagnosis cholecystolithiasis135 (45.9)114 (48.9)21 (34.4)‡89 (48.1)25 (52.1)
No of consultations related to cholecystolithiasis or abdominal-related diagnoses, median (IQR)8 (9)9 (8)6 (6)‡9 (8)11.5 (11.75)
Before diagnosis of cholecystolithiasis3 (3)3 (3)2 (2)‡3 (3)3 (4)
After diagnosis cholecystolithiasis§6 (6)6 (6)4 (5)‡6 (6)6.5 (9)
Biliary colic, n (%)169 (57.5)144 (61.8)25 (41.0)‡119 (64.3)25 (52.1)
Referral to secondary care, n (%)233 (79.3)233 (100)N/A185 (100)48 (100)
Dept. of surgery99 (42.5)N/A91 (49.2)8 (16.7)*
Dept. of gastroenterology24 (10.3)N/A14 (7.6)10 (20.8)*
Emergency department110 (47.2)N/A80 (43.2)30 (62.5)*
Time interval between diagnosis and referral in days, median (IQR)9 (43)9 (43)N/A9 (42)8 (72.25)
GP consultation for persistent abdominal symptoms after initial treatment, n (%)154 (52.4)129 (55.4)25 (41.0)‡97 (52.4)32 (66.7)
Type of symptoms
Pain113 (38.4)96 (41.2)17 (27.9)67 (36.2)29 (60.4)*
Heartburn12 (4.1)6 (2.6)6 (9.8)‡6 (3.2)0 (0)
Diarrhoea20 (6.8)19 (8.2)1 (1.6)16 (8.6)3 (6.3)
Other9 (3.1)8 (3.4)1 (1.6)8 (4.3)0 (0)
New referral to secondary care for persistent symptoms in 3 years after diagnosis of cholecystolithiasis, n (%)56 (19.0)56 (24.0)N/A41 (22.2)15 (31.3)
Dept. of surgery12 (4.1)12 (5.2)N/A9 (4.9)3 (6.3)
Dept. of gastroenterology30 (10.2)30 (12.9)N/A22 (11.9)8 (16.7)
Dept. of internal medicine7 (2.4)7 (3.0)N/A5 (2.7)2 (4.2)
Emergency department7 (2.4)7 (3.0)N/A5 (2.7)2 (4.2)
  • *A significant difference (p<0.05) was found between patients who did or did not receive a cholecystectomy.

  • †Based on 137/294 patients.

  • ‡A significant difference (p<0.05) was found between referred and not referred patients.

  • §Complaints recorded within 6 weeks of surgery were considered to be surgery related and were not scored.

  • BMI, body mass index; GP, general practitioner; NA, not available.