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5-F risk factors for cholelithiasis (mnemonic)

Last revised by Consultant Radiologist Dr Muhammad Saad Ahmed on 25 Oct 2020

The 5-F rule refers to risk factors for the development of cholelithiasis in the event of upper abdominal pain:

  • fair: more prevalent in the Caucasian population 1
  • fat: BMI >30 kg/m2 and hyperlipidemia 3,4
  • female
  • fertile: one or more children
  • forty: age ≥40 years
    • cholelithiasis can occur in young patients with a positive family history; in such cases, the 'familial' factor can substitute for the 'forty' factor 2

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