Chronic pancreatitis is a putative risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
Dr Jakob Kirkegård and colleagues from Denmark examined the magnitude and temporality of this association.
The research team searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for observational studies investigating the association between chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer.
The team computed overall effect estimates with associated 95% confidence intervals using a random-effects meta-analytic model.
|The risk of pancreatic cancer decreased when the lag period was increased to 5 years |
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The effect estimates were stratified by length of follow-up from chronic pancreatitis diagnosis to pancreatic cancer.
Robustness of the results was examined in sensitivity analyses.
The researchers identified 13 eligible studies.
Pooled effect estimates for pancreatic cancer in patients with chronic pancreatitis were 16.16 for patients diagnosed with pancreatic cancer within 2 years from their chronic pancreatitis diagnosis.
The team found that the risk of pancreatic cancer in patients with chronic pancreatitis decreased when the lag period was increased to 5 years or a minimum of 9 years.
Dr Kirkegård's team concludes, "Chronic pancreatitis increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, but the association diminishes with long-term follow-up."
"Five years after diagnosis, chronic pancreatitis patients have a nearly 8-fold increased risk of pancreatic cancer."
"We suggest that common practice on inducing a 2-year lag period in these studies may not be sufficient."
"We also recommend a close follow-up in the first years following a diagnosis of chronic pancreatitis to avoid overlooking a pancreatic cancer."