Global Incidence of Acute Pancreatitis Is Increasing Over Time: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Gastroenterology. 2022 Jan;162(1):122-134. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2021.09.043. Epub 2021 Sep 25.


Background & aims: Acute pancreatitis is a common disease with significant associated morbidity and mortality. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of population-based studies to explore the changing temporal trends of acute pancreatitis incidence globally.

Methods: We performed a systematic literature search to identify population-based studies reporting the annual incidence of acute pancreatitis. Abstracts were assessed independently to identify applicable articles for full-text review and data extraction. Joinpoint temporal trend analyses were performed to calculate the average annual percent change (AAPC) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The AAPCs were pooled in a meta-analysis to capture the overall and regional trends in acute pancreatitis incidence over time. Temporal data were summarized in a static map and an interactive, web-based map.

Results: Forty-four studies reported the temporal incidence of acute pancreatitis (online interactive map: The incidence of acute pancreatitis has increased from 1961 to 2016 (AAPC, 3.07%; 95% CI, 2.30% to 3.84%; n = 34). Increasing incidence was observed in North America (AAPC, 3.67%; 95% CI, 2.76% to 4.57%; n = 4) and Europe (AAPC, 2.77%; 95% CI, 1.91% to 3.63%; n = 23). The incidence of acute pancreatitis was stable in Asia (AAPC, -0.28%; 95% CI, -5.03% to 4.47%; n = 4).

Conclusions: This meta-analysis provides a comprehensive overview of the global incidence of acute pancreatitis over the last 56 years and demonstrates a steadily rising incidence over time in most countries of the Western world. More studies are needed to better define the changing incidence of acute pancreatitis in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Keywords: Acute Pancreatitis; Incidence; Systematic Review; Temporal.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Female
  • Global Health / trends*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Pancreatitis / diagnosis
  • Pancreatitis / epidemiology*
  • Sex Distribution
  • Time Factors