Stephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorJody W.ZylkeMD, Contributing EditorIndividualAuthor
To the Editor: In industrialized countries, chronic pancreatitis (CP) is caused by long-term alcohol abuse in about 70% of cases, whereas the cause is generally unknown in the other 30% of patients. Furthermore, it is unclear how alcohol use may lead to CP, and wide variation exists among individuals in their susceptibility to alcoholic CP (ACP). Only a minority of frequent drinkers develop ACP.1 However, genetic factors may also affect the pathogenesis of ACP.
Witt H, Luck W, Becker M, et al. Mutation in the SPINK1 Trypsin Inhibitor Gene, Alcohol Use, and Chronic Pancreatitis. JAMA. 2001;285(21):2716–2717. doi:10.1001/jama.285.21.2716-a
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