Acute pancreatitis on the rise worldwide
Acute pancreatitis has seen a steady increase in worldwide incidence over the last five decades, particularly in Western countries, a recent study has found.
The rates of acute pancreatitis have remained largely stable in Asia, suggesting the need for future epidemiology investigations in the region to confirm such a pattern, the researchers said.
A systematic literature search was performed, selecting for population-based studies that examined the annual incidence rates of acute pancreatitis. Average annual percent change (AAPC) values were calculated using joinpoint temporal trend analyses. AAPCs were pooled in a meta-analysis to determine the worldwide and per-region trends in acute pancreatitis incidence.
Forty-four studies were deemed eligible for inclusion. Pooled analysis revealed that from 1961 to 2016, the global incidence rate of acute pancreatitis increased by 3.07 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 2.30–3.84) per year.
Stratifying by geographic region, the researchers found that such an upward trend in acute pancreatitis was driven by North America (AAPC, 3.67 percent, 95 percent CI, 2.76–4.57) and Europe (AAPC, 2.77, 95 percent CI, 1.91–3.63). Meanwhile, incidence rates of acute pancreatitis remained stable in Asia (AAPC, –0.28 percent, 95 percent CI, –5.03 to 4.47).
Only one study was available from South America, and two from Oceania, making robust statistical analysis impossible. Nevertheless, annual rates revealed an increasing trend of acute pancreatitis in these regions, as well.
“As the epidemiology of acute pancreatitis continues to change, and new clues into the driving aetiology of the condition emerge, strategies to help manage and possibly prevent acute pancreatitis globally can be developed," the researchers said.