Alcohol and smoking as risk factors in chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer

Giorgio Talamini, Claudio Bassi, Massimo Falconi, Nora Sartori, Roberto Salvia, Laura Rigo, Armando Castagnini, Vincenzo Di Francesco, Luca Frulloni, Paolo Bovo, Bruna Vaona, Giampaolo Angelini, Italo Vantini, Giorgio Cavallini, Paolo Pederzoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to compare alcohol and smoking as risk factors in the development of chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. We considered only male subjects: (1) 630 patients with chronic pancreatitis who developed 12 pancreatic and 47 extrapancreatic cancers; (2) 69 patients with histologically well documented pancreatic cancer and no clinical history of chronic pancreatitis; and (3) 700 random controls taken from the Verona polling list and submitted to a complete medical check-up. Chronic pancreatitis subjects drink more than control subjects and more than subjects with pancreatic cancer without chronic pancreatitis (P <0.001). The percentage of smokers in the group with chronic pancreatitis is significantly higher than that in the control group [odds ratio (OR) 17.3; 95% CI 12.6- 23.8; P <0.001] and in the group with pancreatic carcinomas but with no history of chronic pancreatitis (OR 5.3; 95% CI 3.0-9.4; P <0.001). In conclusion, our study shows that: (1) the risk of chronic pancreatitis correlates both with alcohol intake and with cigarette smoking with a trend indicating that the risk increases with increased alcohol intake and cigarette consumption; (2) alcohol and smoking are statistically independent risk factors for chronic pancreatitis; and (3) the risk of pancreatic cancer correlates positively with cigarette smoking but not with drinking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1303-1311
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Alcohol
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Epidemiology, pancreatic cancer
  • Prospective study
  • Risk factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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