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Alcohol Drinking Patterns and Risk of Developing Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis.

AIM: The aim was to analyze the effects of drinking pattern and type of alcohol on risk of acute and chronic pancreatitis.

METHODS: Prospective cohort study based on data from 316,751 men and women participating in the Danish National Health Surveys 2010 and 2013. Self-reported questionnaire-based alcohol parameters and information on pancreatitis was obtained from national health registers. Cox regression models were used adjusting for baseline year, gender, age, smoking, Body Mass Index, diet and education.

RESULTS: Development of acute and chronic pancreatitis increased with alcohol intake with a significant increase among abstainers and those drinking >14 drinks per week compared with individuals drinking 1-7 drinks per week. Frequent binge drinking and frequent drinking (every day) was associated with increased development of acute and chronic pancreatitis compared with those drinking 2-4 days per week. Problematic alcohol use according to the CAGE-C questionnaire was associated with increased development of acute and chronic pancreatitis.Intake of more than 14 drinks of spirits per week was associated with increased development of acute and chronic pancreatitis, and more than 14 drinks of beer per week were associated with increased development of chronic pancreatitis, whereas drinking wine was not associated with development of pancreatitis.

CONCLUSION: This large prospective population study showed a J-shaped association between alcohol intake and development of pancreatitis. Drinking every day, frequent binge drinking and problematic alcohol use were associated with increased development of pancreatitis and drinking large amounts of beer and spirits might be more harmful than drinking wine.

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