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Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol. 2014 Feb;2(2):111-5. doi: 10.1016/S2213-8587(13)70147-5. Epub 2013 Nov 12.

Incretin therapies and risk of hospital admission for acute pancreatitis in an unselected population of European patients with type 2 diabetes: a case-control study.

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Metabolism and Diabetes Unit, ASL TO5, Regione Piemonte, Chieri, Italy. Electronic address:
Epidemiology Unit, ASL TO3, Regione Piemonte, Grugliasco, Italy.
Chaira Medica Association, Chieri, Italy.
Metabolism and Diabetes Unit, ASL TO5, Regione Piemonte, Chieri, Italy.
Epidemiology Unit, ASL TO3, Regione Piemonte, Grugliasco, Italy; Department of Public Health, University of Torino, Torino, Italy.



Previous studies have yielded conflicting results about the association between incretin therapies and acute pancreatitis. We aimed to compare the occurrence of acute pancreatitis in a population of patients with type 2 diabetes who received incretins compared with those who received other antidiabetic treatment.


In our population-based matched case-control study, we extracted information from an administrative database from Piedmont, Italy (containing data for 4·4 million inhabitants). From a dataset of 282,429 patients receiving treatment with antidiabetic drugs for type 2 diabetes, we identified 1003 cases older than 41 years who had been admitted to hospital for acute pancreatitis between Jan 1, 2008, and Dec 31, 2012, and 4012 controls who were matched for sex, age, and time of start of antidiabetic therapy. We compared incretin exposure in cases and controls with a conditional logistic regression model, expressed as odds ratios (ORs [95% CI]). We adjusted all analyses for risk factors of acute pancreatitis, as ascertained by hospital discharge records, and concomitant use of metformin or glibenclamide.


The mean age of cases and controls (72·2 years [SD 11·1]) was high, as expected in an unselected diabetic population in Europe. After adjustment for available confounders, use of incretins in the 6 months before hospital admission was not associated with increased risk of acute pancreatitis (OR 0·98, 95% CI 0·69-1·38; p=0·8958).


Our findings suggest that, in an unselected population, use of incretins is not associated with an increased risk of acute pancreatitis. Larger studies are needed to clarify whether age or type of incretin therapy could affect the risk of acute pancreatitis in patients with type 2 diabetes.


Chaira Medica Association, Chieri, Italy.

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