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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2000 Dec;31(4):314-7.

Alcohol intake, cigarette smoking, and body mass index in patients with alcohol-associated pancreatitis.

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Gastroenterological and Surgical Department, University of Verona, Italy.


The differential diagnosis between acute and chronic alcohol-associated pancreatitis is often difficult or impossible at onset of the disease. A study was conducted to determine possible relationships between patients suffering from a first episode of acute alcoholic pancreatitis and patients with unequivocal chronic alcoholic pancreatitis, comparing age, drinking and smoking habits, and body mass index (BMI). Two groups of men were considered. The first group consisted of 67 patients with a diagnosis of acute alcohol-associated pancreatitis in the absence of other potential pathogenic factors; in this group, 48 of the 56 patients surviving the acute attack were submitted to imaging studies for a median period of 9 years. The second group consisted of 396 patients with chronic alcoholic pancreatitis with a median follow-up period of 12 years. The variables that differed significantly in the two groups were BMI (p < 0.009) and number of smokers (p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis selected only BMI with an odds ratio of 1.19 (95% CI, 1.07-1.33; p < 0.00015) in favor of acute alcoholic pancreatitis. In male patients, from an epidemiologic standpoint, only smoking habits and BMI are significant differences at clinical onset between the two types of pancreatitis.

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