Background: Data on the incidence of acute pancreatitis in Norway are sparse. Danish studies have shown incidence rates increasing to about 35/100,000 (26-65% alcohol-induced), higher than found in American and British studies.
Methods: We have prospectively registered all cases of acute pancreatitis during 1 year in the county of Buskerud, with a population of 224,000.
Results: The incidence of acute pancreatitis was 41.5 per 100,000. The median age of the patients was 63 years (range, 21-96 years). The main etiologic factors were gallstone disease (51%) and alcohol abuse (15%), whereas 10% of the cases were classified as idiopathic. Pseudocysts or abscesses developed in 8.8%. The mortality was 6.5%.
Conclusion: The incidence of acute pancreatitis in this population is comparable to what has been found elsewhere in Scandinavia, but the relative frequency of alcoholic pancreatitis is substantially less.