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Pancreatology. 2010;10(6):713-9. doi: 10.1159/000320708. Epub 2011 Jan 18.

Smoking is underrecognized as a risk factor for chronic pancreatitis.

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Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



Smoking is an established risk factor for chronic pancreatitis (CP). We sought to identify how often and in which CP patients physicians consider smoking to be a risk factor.


We analyzed data on CP patients and controls prospectively enrolled from 19 US centers in the North American Pancreatitis Study-2. We noted each subject's self-reported smoking status and quantified the amount and duration of smoking. We noted whether the enrolling physician (gastroenterologist with specific interest in pancreatology) classified alcohol as the etiology for CP and selected smoking as a risk factor.


Among 382/535 (71.4%) CP patients who were self-reported ever smokers, physicians cited smoking as a risk factor in only 173/382 (45.3%). Physicians cited smoking as a risk factor more often among current smokers, when classifying alcohol as CP etiology, and with higher amount and duration of smoking. We observed a wide variability in physician decision to cite smoking as a risk factor. Multivariable regression analysis however confirmed that the association of CP with smoking was independent of physician decision to cite smoking as a risk factor.


Physicians often underrecognize smoking as a CP risk factor. Efforts are needed to raise awareness of the association between smoking and CP. and IAP.

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