Pancreatitis is a source of substantial morbidity and health cost in the United States.
Little is known about how diet might contribute to its pathogenesis.
Dr Veronica Wendy Setiawan and colleagues from California, USA characterized dietary factors that are associated with risk of pancreatitis by disease subtype.
The researchers conducted a prospective analysis of 145,886 African Americans, Native Hawaiians, Japanese Americans, Latinos, and whites in the Multiethnic Cohort.
In the Multiethnic Cohort, the researchers identified cases of pancreatitis using hospitalization claim files from 1993 through 2012.
|Fiber intake was associated inversely with gallstone-related acute pancreatitis|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Patients were categorized as having gallstone-related acute pancreatitis, acute pancreatitis not related to gallstones, or recurrent AP or suspected chronic pancreatitis.
Diet information was obtained from a questionnaire administered when the study began.
The research team estimated the associations by hazard ratios, and 95% confidence intervals using Cox proportional hazard models adjusted for confounders.
The team found that dietary intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and their food sources, including red meat and eggs, were associated positively with gallstone-related acute pancreatitis.
Fiber intake, however, was associated inversely with gallstone-related acute pancreatitis, and acute pancreatitis not related to gallstones.
The researchers noted that vitamin D, mainly from milk, was associated inversely with gallstone-related acute pancreatitis, whereas coffee consumption protected against acute pancreatitis not related to gallstones.
With the exception of red meat, no other dietary factors were associated with recurrent acute or suspected chronic pancreatitis.
Dr Setiawan's team concludes, "Associations between dietary factors and pancreatitis were observed mainly for gallstone-related acute pancreatitis."
"Interestingly, dietary fiber protected against acute pancreatitis related and unrelated to gallstones."
"Coffee drinking protected against acute pancreatitis not associated with gallstones."
"Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings."