Researchers investigated time trends for the numbers of hospital admissions for acute and chronic pancreatitis in England from 1989/1990 to 1999/2000.
They reported their findings to delegates at the Annual meeting of the British Society of Gastroenterology, currently being held in Birmingham, England.
Data for the study was obtained from the Hospital Episodes Statistics (HES) service, and was based on ‘Finished Consultant Episodes', excluding day cases, in England.
Hospital admissions were selected by primary diagnosis, and admissions requiring surgical operations (excluding endoscopic procedures) were identified.
Age standardised hospital admission rates were calculated using the European standard population. Mortality statistics were also obtained.
The researchers found that over the 11-year study period, admission rates for acute pancreatitis rose by 43%, while those for chronic pancreatitis had risen by 100%.
The rate of increase was greater among females for acute pancreatitis, but greater among males for chronic pancreatitis.
|Rise in admission rates over 11 years:|
Acute pancreatitis: 43%
Chronic pancreatitis: 100%
In the case of acute pancreatitis, there was a progressive increase in admission rates with age, while for chronic pancreatitis admission rates peaked at 35-54 years of age.
For both sexes, the proportions of admissions requiring surgical procedures increased for acute pancreatitis but decreased for chronic pancreatitis.
Despite this, there was a gradual decline among both sexes in case fatality rates for acute pancreatitis.
The researchers suggested that these trends are likely to reflect genuine changes in disease epidemiology rather than alterations in diagnostic and management practice.