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Intern Med. 2007;46(2):109-13. Epub 2007 Jan 15.

4. Chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer, lifestyle-related diseases.

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The Third Department of Internal Medicine (Gastroenterology and Metabolism), University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, School of Medicine, Kitakyushu.


In Japan, the number of patients with both chronic pancreatitis (CP) and pancreatic cancer (PC) is increasing. A nationwide survey on CP revealed that the total number of patients treated for CP in Japan in 2002 was estimated as 45,200 (95% confidence interval, 35,600-54,700), and 20,137 patients died of PC in 2002. Alcoholic pancreatitis was the most common type of pancreatitis (67.5 %). Cigarette smoking was an independent and significant risk factor for CP. The risks of pancreatic and nonpancreatic cancers increased in the course of CP. While alcohol consumption may increase the risk of PC via CP, smoking was important as a risk factor for both CP and PC. The increasing incidence of PC was closely related to the increasing intake of animal fat. Lifestyle in patients with CP appeared to be the same as that in patients with PC. Environmental factors such as lifestyle in combination with genetic factors may increase the risk for both CP and PC. Therefore, changing and improving lifestyle habits such as drinking, smoking and nutrition may reduce the risks for both CP and PC.

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