Pharmacoepidemiology and Prescription

European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 275-283

First online:

A Swedish case-control network for studies of drug-induced morbidity – acute pancreatitis

  • Kerstin B. BlomgrenAffiliated withThe Pharmacoepidemiological Unit, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, Karolinska Institutet, Huddinge University Hospital 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
  • , Anders SundströmAffiliated withMedical Product Agency, Uppsala Sweden
  • , Gunnar SteineckAffiliated withClinical Cancer Epidemiology, Stockholm City Council and Department of Oncology and Pathology, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden
  • , Sven GenellAffiliated withDepartment of Surgery, Malmö University Hospital, Sweden
  • , Svante SjöstedtAffiliated withDepartment of Medical and Surgical Gastroenterology Huddinge University Hospital, Sweden
  • , Bengt-Erik WiholmAffiliated withMedical Product Agency, Uppsala Sweden

Rent the article at a discount

Rent now

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access



Objective. To evaluate risk factors – notably drugs – for developing acute pancreatitis.

Methods. A population-based, case-control study, encompassing 1.4 million inhabitants aged 20–85 years from four regions in Sweden between 1 January 1995 and 31 May 1998. A total of 462 cases were hospitalised in surgical departments with their first episode of acute pancreatitis without previously known biliary stone disease. From a population register, 1781 controls were randomly selected. Information was obtained from medical records and through telephone interviews.

Results. Fifty-seven percent of the cases were males. An expert group found evidence for biliary stones in 50% of the cases, alcohol intake in 23%, but in 29% neither of these factors were present. In all, "other" factors, e.g. drugs, could have contributed to the development of acute pancreatitis in 52% of the cases. In a multivariate analysis, the adjusted odds ratios (ORs) for H2 antagonists were 2.4 (95% CI 1.2–4.8) for proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), 2.1 (1.2–3.4) for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), 2.3 (1.3–4.0) for those derived from acetic acid and 1.9 (1.1–3.2) for antibacterials for systemic use. Significant ORs were found for a history of gastrointestinal tract disorders [1.5 (1.1–1.9)] and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [3.4 (1.5–7.9)]. Smoking was significantly associated with acute pancreatitis [1.7 (1.2–2.1)] and, for those smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day, the OR was 4.0 (2.2–7.5). Alcohol in moderate amounts did not increase the risk, but for those drinking more than 420 g alcohol per week the OR was 4.1 (2.2–7.5).

Conclusion. In addition to cholelithiasis, smoking and heavy alcohol use, drugs may be an important risk factor for acute pancreatitis.

Acute pancreatitis Case-control study Risk factors