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Etiology of chronic pancreatitis: has it changed in the last decade?

The evidence from recent surveys on chronic pancreatitis carried out around the world shows that alcohol remains the main factor associated with chronic pancreatitis, even if at a frequency lower than that reported previously. It has further confirmed that heavy alcohol consumption and smoking are independent risk factors for chronic pancreatitis. Autoimmune pancreatitis accounts for 2%-4% of all forms of chronic pancreatitis, but this frequency will probably increase over the next few years. The rise in idiopathic chronic pancreatitis, especially in India, represents a black hole in recently published surveys. Despite the progress made so far regarding the possibility of establishing the hereditary forms of chronic pancreatitis and the recognition of autoimmune pancreatitis, it is possible that we are more inaccurate today than in the past in identifying the factors associated with chronic pancreatitis in our patients.

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