Patient reported exposure to smoking and alcohol abuse are associated with pain and other complications in patients with chronic pancreatitis

Pancreatology. 2020 Jul;20(5):844-851. doi: 10.1016/j.pan.2020.05.001. Epub 2020 May 11.


Background/objectives: Smoking and alcohol abuse are established risk factors for chronic pancreatitis (CP). Few studies have examined how exposure to smoking and alcohol abuse act as risk factors for complications in CP. Our aim was to examine associations between patient reported exposure to smoking and alcohol abuse and complications in CP in a large cohort of patients from the Scandinavian and Baltic countries.

Methods: We retrieved data on demographics, CP related complications and patients' histories of exposure to smoking and alcohol abuse from the Scandinavian Baltic Pancreatic Club database. Associations were investigated by univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses. Results are presented as odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals.

Results: A complete history of smoking and alcohol exposure was available for 932 patients. In multivariate regression analyses, the presence of pain and exocrine pancreatic insufficiency were both significantly associated with history of smoking (OR 1.94 (1.40-2.68), p < 0.001 and OR 1.89 (1.36-2.62), p < 0.001, respectively) and alcohol abuse (OR 1.66 (1.21-2.26), p = 0.001 and 1.55 (1.14-2.11), p = 0.005, respectively). Smoking was associated with calcifications (OR 2.89 (2.09-3.96), p < 0.001), moderate to severe ductal changes (OR 1.42 (1.05-1.92), p = 0.02), and underweight (OR 4.73 (2.23-10.02), p < 0.001). History of alcohol abuse was associated with pseudocysts (OR 1.38 (1.00-1.90) p = 0.05) and diabetes mellitus (OR 1.44 (1.03-2.01), p = 0.03). There were significantly increased odds-ratios for several complications with increasing exposure to smoking and alcohol abuse.

Conclusion: Smoking and alcohol abuse are both independently associated with development of complications in patients with CP. There seems to be a dose-dependent relationship between smoking and alcohol abuse and complications in CP.

Keywords: Alcohol abuse; Chronic pancreatitis; Complications; Epidemiology; Smoking.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcoholism / complications*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Baltic States / epidemiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Complications / epidemiology
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology*
  • Pancreatic Ducts / pathology
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / complications*
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / epidemiology
  • Pancreatitis, Chronic / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • Scandinavian and Nordic Countries / epidemiology
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Thinness / complications