Cigarette smoking is associated with a higher risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.
It increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic calcifications.
Dr Giorgio Talamini and colleagues investigated whether smoking cessation modifies the course of the disease.
Patients with chronic pancreatitis who had been followed up for more than 6 years from clinical onset, and who had not developed calcifications after 5 years were analyzed.
The research team studied smokers, never-smokers, and patients who had given up smoking within 5 years.
|60% of patients developed calcifications|
For actuarial analysis, the 6th year was considered as time 0.
Of the 360 patients, there were 43 women and 317 men with a mean age of 39 years.
The median follow-up was 19 years.
Chronic pancreatitis was alcohol-associated in 255 patients, hereditary in 10, obstructive in 54, and idiopathic in 41.
The team noted that 88% were smokers, and 72% were alcohol drinkers.
At the end of the follow-up, the researchers observed that 60% of patients developed calcifications.
Concerning the risk of calcifications, never-smokers and ex-smokers had similar actuarial curves, but significantly different from the curve for smokers.
Considering never-smokers as the reference class, the team noted that ex-smokers had an odds ratio of 0.6.
Patients smoking 1 to 10 cigarettes per day had an odds ratio of 1.95.
The researchers observed that patients smoking 11 to 20 cigarettes per day had an odds ratio of 1.8.
The researchers found that those smoking more than 20 cigarettes per day had an odds ratio of 1.8.
Alcohol cessation seems to have no influence.
Dr Talamini's team comments, "Smoking cessation in the first years from the clinical onset of chronic pancreatitis reduces the risk of developing pancreatic calcifications."