Long-term health-related quality of life in survivors of severe acute pancreatitis

Intensive Care Med. 2003 May;29(5):782-6. doi: 10.1007/s00134-003-1700-8. Epub 2003 Apr 9.


Objective: To evaluate the health-related quality of life (HRQL) and postdischarge outcome after severe acute pancreatitis.

Design and setting: Observational study in a department of surgery (surgical and general intensive care unit) in a tertiary care hospital.

Patients and participants: Of 283 patients with severe acute pancreatitis 211 survived; during a follow-up period an additional 27 died. The Rand 36-item Health Survey with accessory question was mailed to 174 eligible patients. The final study population comprised 145 patients (83% response rate). Age- and sex-matched Finnish population scores were compared with the study population; accessory questions were analyzed separately.

Results: No clinically significant differences were found in long-term HRQL between study patients and the general population. Of the 145 patients 87% returned to work, 27% suffered recurrent pancreatitis, and 43% developed diabetes. Of 113 patients with alcohol-induced severe acute pancreatitis 30% were abstinent and 28% problem drinkers, alcohol-dependent, or alcoholics.

Conclusions: Up to 13% of severe acute pancreatitis patients surviving initial hospitalization die within a few years. Among the survivors long-term HRQL is comparable to that of the normal population. The majority return to work and reduce their alcohol consumption markedly.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Finland
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / classification*
  • Pancreatitis / mortality
  • Pancreatitis / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Survival Analysis*