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Gastroenterol Clin Biol. 2006 Jun-Jul;30(6-7):838-44.

Estimation of the prevalence and incidence of chronic pancreatitis and its complications.

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Pôle des Maladies de l'Appareil Digestif, Service de Gastroentérologie-Pancréatologie, APHP, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy.


Incidence and prevalence of chronic pancreatitis (CP) are poorly known and prospective nationwide epidemiologic estimation has never been performed.


To estimate prospectively national incidence and prevalence of patients attending gastroenterologists for CP in France.


Study was proposed to all of the French gastroenterologists (N=3215) of whom 753 accepted to participate (24% private, 40% hospital and 36% both). Were included all patients suffering from proved or suspected CP, from 04-2003 to 07-2003. Certain diagnostic criteria were pancreatic calcifications, ductal or histological abnormalities. For all of non-responder gastroenterologists, a tracking system was used (mail or by phone).


A total of 456 gastroenterologists returned at least 1 case on 1748 patients. Median patient age was 51 years; sex-ratio was 5.07. Median duration between the first CP sign and the inclusion was 41 months. CP cause was alcoholism (84%), hereditary (1%), cystic fibrosis (1%), idiopathic (9%), other (6%). CP diagnosis was certain in 77%: calcifications (85%), ductal abnormalities (57%), and histology (8%). CP symptoms were: chronic abdominal pain (53%), acute pancreatitis episodes (67%), pseudocysts (40%), bi-liary tract compression (21%), diabetes mellitus (32%), pancreatic exocrine insufficiency (36%). Maximal annual incidence was 4,646 (crude annual incidence: 7.7 per 100,000; 12.9 in male; 2.6 in female) and prevalence was 15,832 cases (crude prevalence: 26.4 per 100,000; 43.8 in male; 9.0 in female).


New CP patients attending gastroenterologists are about 5,000 a year. CP prevalence is about 16,000 patients (in France: 60,400,000 inhabitants). Frequency of main complications is close to hospital series, confirming that results issued from these centers are not or a few biased.

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