Fish consumption and risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis: a prospective cohort study

Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jan;101(1):72-8. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.076174. Epub 2014 Nov 5.


Background: Epidemiologic data on the role of diet in acute pancreatitis are sparse.

Objective: We examined the association of total fish consumption, as well as of consumption of fatty fish and lean fish separately, with risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis.

Design: We used data from 2 prospective cohorts, the Cohort of Swedish Men and the Swedish Mammography Cohort, that included 39,267 men and 32,191 women who were aged 45-84 y at the start of a 13-y follow-up period (1998-2010). Fish consumption was assessed by using a food-frequency questionnaire at baseline, and cases of incident non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis were identified by linkage to the Swedish National Patient Register. HRs were estimated by using Cox proportional hazard models.

Results: During a total follow-up of 860,176 person-years, 320 cases (209 cases in men and 111 cases in women) of incident non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis were identified. We observed that total fish consumption ≤2.0-3.0 servings/wk was associated with a significantly decreased risk of the disease (P-nonlinearity = 0.017). In comparison with 0.9 servings/wk, multivariable-adjusted HRs were 0.86 (95% CI: 0.76, 0.96), 0.77 (95% CI: 0.62, 0.96), and 0.85 (95% CI: 0.65, 1.10) for 1.4, 2.4, and 3.5 servings/wk, respectively. In the analysis of fatty fish and lean fish, we observed that the consumption of each subtype had a similarly shaped association with risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis as that observed for total fish consumption, although neither was significant. Multivariable-adjusted HRs were 0.83 for fatty fish (95% CI: 0.65, 1.04) and 0.87 for lean fish (95% CI: 0.69, 1.11) when 0.6-2.0 servings/wk was compared with ≤0.5 servings/wk.

Conclusion: Our data suggest that the consumption of total fish (fatty fish and lean fish combined) may be associated with decreased risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis.

Trial registration: NCT01127698 NCT01127711.

Keywords: cohort studies; diet; fatty acids; food; inflammation; pancreas; pancreatitis; prospective studies.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Observational Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Cohort Studies
  • Dietary Fats / administration & dosage*
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Dietary Fats / therapeutic use
  • Female
  • Fishes*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Functional Food* / analysis
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis / prevention & control*
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Seafood* / analysis
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Dietary Fats

Associated data