, Volume 39, Issue 9, pp 879-887

Severe chronic pancreatitis and severe liver cirrhosis have different frequencies and are independent risk factors in male Japanese alcoholics

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Abstract

Background

Chronic pancreatitis and liver cirrhosis are major alcohol-related diseases in most countries. Neither their specific etiologies nor the relationship between them is fully understood. This study was designed to examine a possible association between alcoholic chronic pancreatitis (ACP) and alcoholic liver cirrhosis (ALC), and to identify factors relating to them.

Methods

The subjects were 141 consenting participants from 1087 male patients consecutively admitted to Kurihama National Hospital from July 2000 to November 2002. All were negative for major medical disorders (e.g., viral hepatitis, operative history, malignancy), except for ACP and ALC. Analysis of each subject included background information (collected by face-to-face interview, regarding quantity and duration of drinking, usual alcoholic drinks, smoking, education, employment, and marital status) and signs of ACP detected on endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) and ALC indicated by Child-Pugh classification. Subjects consenting to genome analyses (n = 83) were genotyped for two key alcohol-metabolizing enzymes: alcohol dehydrogenase-2 and aldehyde dehydrogenase-2.

Results

Grouping patients by ERCP grading and Child classification revealed a nonparallel relationship between the severities of the two diseases. This relationship held, even after controlling for several pertinent background variables (sociofamilial, drinking, clinical, and genetic factors) by logistic regression analysis. The drinking of spirits and a high daily consumption of alcohol were independent risk factors for ACP, while never-married status was the only risk factor identified with ALC among these male Japanese patients.

Conclusions

Different risk factors may confer susceptibility to ACP versus ALC, which may explain the nonparallel relationship between the severities of the two diseases in Japanese alcoholics.