Pancreatitis: prevalence and risk factors among male veterans in a detoxification program.Pancreas 2007; 34(4):390-8P
To determine the prevalence of pancreatitis and associated risk factors among heavy-drinking veterans.
At a large Veterans Administration Outpatient Detoxification Program (ODP) that systematically collects risk information, 1409 black and white male veterans with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes for alcohol abuse enrolling in the ODP from January 2002 to December 2003 were identified. Among these patients, pancreatitis at any time (before the ODP admission or occurring through June 2005) was identified using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision codes. Cases were verified by chart review. Logistic regression analyses were used for multivariable analyses.
Overall, history of smoking (89.6%) and current or past drug use (90.1%) were very common, whereas intravenous drug use (22.3%) was less so. Although 87 (6.2%) subjects had pancreatitis codes (acute, 50; chronic, 15; both, 22), chart review verified only 42 cases (acute, 29; chronic, 5; both, 8) for a 3% prevalence. Alcohol appeared to be the definite etiology in 39 of these 42 patients. In bivariate analyses, patients with pancreatitis were older, had more substance abuse admissions, reported a significantly heavier current alcohol use, and lower drug dependence (each P < 0.05). In multivariable models, alcoholic pancreatitis was associated positively with age (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.12) and number of substance abuse admissions (odds ratio, 1.08; 95% confidence interval, 0.995-1.18; P = 0.06).
In this high-risk population of heavy drinkers, the prevalence of pancreatitis is at least 3%. Our study provides preliminary data regarding potential cofactors for pancreatitis in heavy drinkers.