Patients with chronic pancreatitis are at increased risk for osteoporosis

Pancreas. 2012 Oct;41(7):1119-24. doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31824abb4d.


Objectives: Patients with chronic pancreatitis may be at an increased risk of low bone density because of malabsorption of vitamin D and calcium, poor diet, pain, alcoholism, and smoking. We investigated the rates of osteoporosis in patients with chronic pancreatitis compared to matched controls.

Methods: The study was cross sectional in design. Sixty-two patients (mean age, 47.9 years; 72.6% male) and 66 matched controls were recruited. Dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry, smoking, and socioeconomic data were recorded.

Results: Thirty-four percent of patients had osteoporosis compared to 10.2% of controls. T-scores at the right femoral neck were lower in patients than controls (P = 0.005). Patients in the highest smoking tertile had the poorest T-scores at the lumbar vertebrae and total hip. Patients in the youngest age tertile had the highest T-scores (P = 0.003), but there was no sex difference.

Conclusions: Patient osteoporosis rates were triple that of controls, and almost 7 times what has been previously reported. Given the resource burden of osteoporosis, we suggest that routine bone density assessment is performed in patients with chronic pancreatitis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Absorptiometry, Photon
  • Adult
  • Bone Density
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Osteoporosis / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatitis, Alcoholic / complications
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Vitamin D / analogs & derivatives
  • Vitamin D / blood


  • Vitamin D
  • 25-hydroxyvitamin D
  • Calcium