Glucose-Lowering Therapy in Patients With Postpancreatitis Diabetes Mellitus: A Nationwide Population-Based Cohort Study

Diabetes Care. 2021 Sep;44(9):2045-2052. doi: 10.2337/dc21-0333. Epub 2021 Aug 6.


Objective: Postpancreatitis diabetes mellitus (PPDM) is a type of secondary diabetes that requires special considerations for management. The main objective was to examine prescription patterns of glucose-lowering therapy among adults with PPDM compared with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Research design and methods: In a Danish nationwide population-based cohort study, we identified all individuals with adult-onset diabetes in the period 2000-2018 and categorized them as having type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or PPDM. We ascertained diabetes incidence rates, clinical and demographic characteristics, and classifications and prescription patterns of glucose-lowering therapy and compared these parameters across diabetes subgroups.

Results: Among 398,456 adults with new-onset diabetes, 5,879 (1.5%) had PPDM, 9,252 (2.3%) type 1 diabetes, and the remaining type 2 diabetes (96.2%). The incidence rate of PPDM was 7.9 (95% CI 7.7-8.1) per 100,000 person-years versus 12.5 (95% CI 12.2-12.7) for type 1 diabetes (incidence rate ratio 0.6 [95% CI 0.6-0.7]; P < 0.001). A sizeable proportion of patients with PPDM were classified as having type 2 diabetes (44.9%) and prescribed sulfonylureas (25.2%) and incretin-based therapies (18.0%) that can potentially be harmful in PPDM. In contrast, 35.0% of patients never received biguanides, which are associated with a survival benefit in PPDM. Increased insulin requirements were observed for patients with PPDM compared with type 2 diabetes (hazard ratio 3.10 [95% CI 2.96-3.23]; P < 0.001) in particular for PPDM associated with chronic pancreatitis (hazard ratio 4.30 [95% CI 4.01-4.56]; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: PPDM is a common type of secondary diabetes in adults but is often misclassified and treated as type 2 diabetes, although PPDM requires special considerations for management.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / drug therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Glucose

Associated data

  • figshare/10.2337/figshare.14770545