A Systematic Review of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency Prevalence and Treatment in Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2023 Sep;25(9):659-672. doi: 10.1089/dia.2023.0157. Epub 2023 Jul 13.


Type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes have high rates of associated exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). This review evaluated the current evidence on prevalence and treatment of EPI in type 1 and type 2 diabetes and compared general population prevalence rates of EPI and prevalence of other common gastrointestinal conditions such as celiac disease and gastroparesis based on within-diabetes rates of common gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. Prevalence of EPI in type 1 diabetes ranges from 14% to 77.5% (median 33%), while EPI in type 2 diabetes ranges from 16.8% to 49.2% (median 29%), and where type of diabetes is not specified in studies, ranges from 5.4% to 77%. In studies with control groups of the general population, prevalence of EPI overall in those without diabetes ranged from 4.4% to 18%, median 13%, which is comparable with other estimated general population prevalence rates of EPI (10%-20%). Cumulatively, this suggests there may be significant numbers of people with diabetes with EPI who are undiagnosed. People with diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) who present with gastrointestinal symptoms, such as steatorrhea or changes in stool, bloating, and/or abdominal pain, should be screened for EPI. Both diabetes specialists and gastroenterologists and primary care providers should be aware of the high rates of prevalence of diabetes and EPI and recommend fecal elastase-1 screening for people with diabetes and GI symptoms.

Keywords: Cost; Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency; Pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy; Prevalence.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1* / therapy
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / epidemiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2* / therapy
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency* / diagnosis
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency* / epidemiology
  • Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency* / therapy
  • Gastroparesis*
  • Humans
  • Prevalence