Global epidemiology and holistic prevention of pancreatitis

Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2019 Mar;16(3):175-184. doi: 10.1038/s41575-018-0087-5.


Knowledge of pancreatitis in the 20th century was shaped predominantly by animal data and clinical trials. Several large general population-based cohort studies and comprehensive systematic literature reviews in the 21st century have had a major effect on our understanding of pancreatitis and its sequelae. This Review provides precise and up-to-date data on the burden of acute pancreatitis, chronic pancreatitis and post-pancreatitis diabetes mellitus. Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency and altered bone metabolism following pancreatitis are also discussed. Furthermore, the article introduces a framework for the holistic prevention of pancreatitis with a view to providing guidance on strategies and intervention objectives at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. Concerted efforts by not only gastroenterologists and surgeons but also primary care physicians, endocrinologists, radiologists, pain specialists, dietitians, epidemiologists and public health specialists will be required to reduce meaningfully the burden of pancreatitis and its sequelae over the ensuing decades.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Chronic Disease
  • Global Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Holistic Health*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Pancreatitis / complications
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology*
  • Pancreatitis / mortality
  • Pancreatitis / prevention & control
  • Prevalence