Study Shows Diabetes Raises Risk of Pancreatitis

People with type 2 diabetes have an almost triple risk of acute pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas) and two-fold greater risk of biliary disease (disease of the gallbladder and bile ducts), compared with people without diabetes, a study shows.

“The increased risk of pancreatitis for patients with type 2 diabetes…combined with the increasing prevalence of diabetes and the associated risk factors, may be contributing to a meaningful increase in the incidence of acute pancreatitis in the US,” Dr. Gary L. Bloomgren, at Amylin Pharmaceuticals in San Diego, California, and colleagues suggest in the journal Diabetes Care.

Their study was supported by Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Eli Lilly, producers of the diabetes drug exenatide (Byetta), which has been associated with spontaneous reports of acute pancreatitis, which the investigators say “prompted this investigation.”

Bloomgren and his colleagues used a nationwide managed care claims database that included nearly one million adults enrolled for at least 12 continuous months between 1999 and 2005. There were 337,067 patients with type 2 diabetes and a similar number of people without diabetes.

According to the investigators, the incidence of pancreatitis was nearly 3 times higher, and the incidence of biliary disease nearly 2 times higher, in diabetics compared to non-diabetics. This is a significant amount, especially when you are talking about millions of people.Though there were a million people in the stucy, they obviously represent only a sample population of individuals with type 2 diabetes who are prone to pancreatitis. gall bladder amd bo;e duct disease.

For both conditions, younger diabetics (aged 18 to 30 years old) had the highest risk of developing pancreatitis or biliary disease.

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