Overall diet quality and risk of recurrence and progression of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis: a prospective cohort study

Eur J Nutr. 2018 Oct;57(7):2537-2545. doi: 10.1007/s00394-017-1526-8. Epub 2017 Aug 30.


Purpose: An incident episode of acute pancreatitis is often followed by recurrent attacks and/or progression to chronic pancreatitis, especially if the etiology is non-gallstone-related. We examined whether overall diet quality influences the natural history of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis.

Methods: Three hundred and eighty-six individuals (born 1914-1952) were included in a prospective study, all of whom had an incident diagnosis of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis in the Swedish National Patient Register between 1998 and 2013. Participants were already enrolled in two population-based cohorts and had completed a food frequency questionnaire in 1997. Overall diet quality was calculated using a recommended food score (RFS), which was based on 25 food items. Post-diagnosis follow-up was conducted throughout 2014 for recurrence of acute pancreatitis and/or progression to chronic pancreatic disease (including cancer). Hazard ratios were estimated using Cox models.

Results: During 1859 person-years of follow-up, 23.3% of the study population (n = 90) developed recurrent or progressive pancreatic disease. An inverse association was observed between the RFS and risk of recurrent and progressive pancreatic disease after adjustment for age and sex (hazard ratio for each 2-unit increase 0.90, 95% confidence interval 0.81-1.01) (P overall association = 0.06). However, the association became weaker and was not statistically significant after adjustment for other potential confounders, including alcohol drinking and cigarette smoking (P overall association = 0.27).

Conclusions: In this prospective study of individuals with non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis, there was no clear association between overall diet quality and risk of recurrent and progressive pancreatic disease.

Keywords: Diet; Epidemiology; Pancreatitis; Prospective studies; Secondary prevention.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diet / standards*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sweden