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.