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Prevalence and Clinical Features of Chronic Pancreatitis in China: A Retrospective Multicenter Analysis Over 10 Years

Wang, Luo Wei MD, PhD; Li, Zhao Shen MD, PhD; Li, Shu De MD, PhD; Jin, Zhen Dong MD; Zou, Duo Wu MD, PhD; Chen, Fu MD

doi: 10.1097/MPA.0b013e31818f6ac1
Original Articles

Objectives: A multicenter study was initiated by the Chinese Chronic Pancreatitis Study Group to determine the nature and magnitude of chronic pancreatitis (CP) in China.

Methods: Twenty-two hospitals representing all 6 urban health care regions in China participated in the study. The survey covered a 10-year period from May 1, 1994, to April 30, 2004. Multiple logistic regression was used for analyses.

Results: The analysis included 2008 patients (64.99% were men, and 35.01% were female; mean age, 48.9 years [SD, 15.0 years]). Chronic pancreatitis prevalence increased yearly from 1996 to 2003: 3.08, 3.91, 5.28, 7.61, 10.43, 11.92, 12.84, and 13.52 per 100,000 inhabitants. Chronic pancreatitis etiologies were alcohol (35.11%), biliary stones (34.36%), hereditary (7.22%), and idiopathic CP (12.90%). Clinical feature were pain (76.25%), maldigestion (36.11%), jaundice (13.40%), and steatorrhea (6.92%). Complications were pseudocyst (26.25%), diabetes (21.61%), bile duct strictures (13.40%), and ascites (1.74%). With regard to the diagnosis, the sensitivity and specificity of endoscopic ultrasonography and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography were 88% and 93%, and 87% and 93%, respectively. Three hundred ninety-one patients (19.47%) received endoscopic therapy. Surgery was performed in 239 patients (11.90%).

Conclusion: In China, the incidence of CP is rising rapidly; alcohol and biliary stones are the main causes. Endoscopic ultrasonography and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography are highly sensitive and specific diagnostic methods.

From the Department of Gastroenterology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, Shanghai, China.

Received for publication March 24, 2008; accepted September 22, 2008.

Reprints: Zhao Shen Li, MD, PhD, Department of Gastroenterology, Changhai Hospital, Second Military Medical University, 174 Changhai Rd, Shanghai 200433, P. R. China (e-mail:

This work was supported by the National Natural Science foundation of China (grant 30700360).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.