The Epidemiology of Chronic Pancreatitis
Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a disorder of chronic inflammation characterized by chronic abdominal pain, frequent disease exacerbations, and exocrine and/or endocrine insufficiency. It significantly affects patients’ quality of life and may lead to life-threatening complications including diabetes mellitus and pancreatic cancer. Currently, the epidemiology of CP is not well described. The difficulty in the formal diagnosis and high variability in the severity and evolution of the illness may impact the quality of epidemiological studies. Although there are few large population-based epidemiological studies concerning CP, the available data shows the growing incidence and prevalence of CP in the world. In addition, it varies tremendously in different countries, which may be related with differences in study methodology, diagnostic criteria and techniques, and risk factors.
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