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15-04-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Type 2 diabetics have increased risk for acute pancreatitis


Free abstract

MedWire News: Patients with Type 2 diabetes are significantly more likely to suffer from acute pancreatitis (AP) than the general nondiabetic population, report researchers.

The team also found that a history of obesity, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, smoking, or alcohol use increased risk for AP in all patients.

Results from previous studies have indicated that patients with Type 2 diabetes have an increased risk for pancreatitis, as reported previously by MedWire News.

However, few studies have assessed factors predicting AP in those with Type 2 diabetes.

In this study, Cynthia Girman (Merck Research Laboratories, North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA) and colleagues assessed the incidence of AP from 2003 to2007 in 148,903 patients with Type 2 diabetes and 2,835,551 nondiabetic patients from the General Practice Research Database in the UK.

They found that over the study period 301 Type 2 diabetics and 2434 nondiabetics developed AP.

Prior obesity, pancreatitis, gallbladder disease, smoking, and alcohol use were all found to predict AP in all participants.

Following adjustment for the above factors, as well as for age, gender, and comorbidities, risk for developing AP was a significant 49% higher in Type 2 diabetic versus nondiabetic individuals.

The team notes that diabetics had significantly higher rates of previous alcohol and tobacco exposure compared with nondiabetics, at 44.2% and 61.9% versus 34.1% and 35.9%, respectively. They also had a higher degree of comorbid conditions, at 14.7% versus 4.3%.

“The incidence of acute pancreatitis among patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus in the UK is two to three times higher than in those without diabetes, both after adjustment for age and gender, and after adjustment for known risk factors,” conclude the authors in the journal Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism.

“Physicians should be aware of the increased risk of acute pancreatitis in patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus, particularly in those with a prior history of pancreatitis,” they add.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert