The epidemiology of acute alcoholic pancreatitis (AP), chronic alcoholic pancreatitis (CP), acute alcoholic hepatitis (AH), and chronic alcoholic hepatitis with cirrhosis (CH) alone or in combination is not well described. To better understand alcohol-related liver and pancreas effects on and associations with different ethnic groups and sexes, we analyzed the trends of AP, CP, AH, CH, AP plus AH, and CP plus CH in the United States.
We examined discharge records from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, the largest representative sample of US hospitals. Hospital discharges, case-fatality, and sex and race contributions were calculated from patients with discharge diagnoses of AP, CP, AH, CH, AP plus AH, or CP plus CH between 1988 and 2004.
The distribution of overall hospital discharges per 100 000 persons between 1988 and 2004 was as follows: AP, 49.2; CP, 8.1; AH, 4.5; and CH, 13.7. Overall hospital discharges per 100 000 persons for AP plus AH were 1.8; and for CP plus CH, 0.32. There were higher male to female ratios for AH and CH, and less so for AP and CP. A markedly higher frequency of AP (63.5) and CP (11.3) was seen among blacks than among whites (AP, 29.6 and CP, 5.1), Hispanics (AP, 27.1 and CP, 3.7), Asians (AP, 12.8 and CP, 1.4), and American Indians (AP, 15.5 and CP, 2.3). This higher frequency remained stable between 1994 and 2004. Overall case fatality steadily decreased in all categories, but remains highest in CH (13.6%) with similar racial distributions.
In the United States, AP is the most common discharge diagnosis among alcohol-related liver or pancreas complications, while CH has the highest case fatality rate and male to female ratio. Blacks have the highest frequency of alcohol-related pancreatic disease.