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, 144 (6), 1252-61

The Epidemiology of Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer


The Epidemiology of Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer

Dhiraj Yadav et al. Gastroenterology.


Acute pancreatitis is one of the most frequent gastrointestinal causes of hospital admission in the United States. Chronic pancreatitis, although lower in incidence, significantly reduces patients' quality of life. Pancreatic cancer is associated with a high mortality rate and is one of the top 5 causes of death from cancer. The burden of pancreatic disorders is expected to increase over time. The risk and etiology of pancreatitis differ with age and sex, and all pancreatic disorders affect the black population more than any other race. Gallstones are the most common cause of acute pancreatitis, and early cholecystectomy eliminates the risk of future attacks. Alcohol continues to be the single most important risk factor for chronic pancreatitis. Smoking is an independent risk factor for acute and chronic pancreatitis, and its effects could synergize with those of alcohol. Significant risk factors for pancreatic cancer include smoking and non-O blood groups. Alcohol abstinence and smoking cessation can alter the progression of pancreatitis and reduce recurrence; smoking cessation is the most effective strategy to reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of Interest: None


Figure 1
Figure 1. Incidence Rates for Pancreatitis and Pancreatic Cancer in the US
Numbers in parenthesis indicate approximate yearly incident rates per 100,000 persons. Arrow indicates relationship between benign and malignant disease. Recurrent AP develops predominately in patients with non-gallstone related pancreatitis, although it can develop in patients with gallstone-related pancreatitis when cholecystectomy has been delayed or refused. Ref. ,,
Figure 2
Figure 2. Incidence of AP
Graph shows incidence from 1996–2005 in White and Black residents of Allegheny County, PA, US, based on age-group, sex and etiology. Source: Allegheny County census data (; pancreatitis data (Ref. 113). Incidence data is shown only for patients with alcohol, gallstone or idiopathic etiology. Rate for all patients is age, sex and race adjusted to 2000 US population.
Figure 3
Figure 3. Prevalence of CP
Graph shows prevalence of CP in 2006, in Olmsted County, MN, US, based on age-group, sex and etiology. Data in part from Ref. (with permission). Rate for all patients is age and sex adjusted to 2000 US White population.
Figure 4
Figure 4. Incidence of Pancreatic Cancer
Incidence of pancreatic cancer from 2005 to 2009 in the US, based on sex and racial groups. Ref.

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