Chronic pancreatitis is a chronic inflammatory condition that causes irreversible damage to pancreatic structure and function. Epidemiology
IabJe.83-6 lists the causes of chronic pancreatitis. Of these, alcohol abuse is the most important, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of cases. 17 Most of the remaining cases are idiopathic. Ihe mean ages of onset and death in chronic pancreatitis are 42 and 52 years, respectively. 18 Because the disease can be undiagnosed, the true prevalence is unknown, with estimates ranging from 0.04 to 5 percent.19 As with alcohol abuse, chronic pancreatitis is most common in men. Gallstones are not a cause of chronic pancreatitis, despite their role in the acute form of the disease.2021 It is believed that acute pancreatitis does not progress to chronic disease unless complications such as pseudocysts or ductal strictures are present.19
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