Pain and aetiological risk factors determine quality of life in patients with chronic pancreatitis, but a brick in the puzzle is missing

Søren S Olesen, Camilla Nøjgaard, Srdan Novovic, Nanna M Jensen, Peter Nørregaard, Eva E Dahl, Anne Waage, Truls Hauge, Giedrius Barauskas, Mikael Parhiala, Johanna Laukkarinen, Asbjørn M Drewes

16 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) is a debilitating fibro-inflammatory disease with a profound impact on patients' quality of life (QOL). We investigated determinants of QOL in a large cohort of CP patients.

METHODS: This was a multicentre study including 517 patients with CP. All patients fulfilled the EORTC QLQ-C30 questionnaire. Questionnaire responses were compared to results obtained from a general reference population (n = 11,343). Demographic characteristics, risk factors (smoking and alcohol consumption), pain symptoms, disease phenotype (complications) and treatments were recorded. A multivariable regression model was used to identify factors independently associated with QOL scores.

RESULTS: Included patients had a mean age of 56.3 ± 12.8 years, 355 (69%) were men and 309 (60%) had alcohol aetiology. Compared to the reference population, patients with CP had lower global health status (50.5 vs. 66.1; p < 0.001) as well as reduced scores for all functional scales (all p < 0.001). Additionally, CP patients reported a higher burden for all symptom items, with pain being the most prominent complaint (all p < 0.001). Constant pain (coefficient -11.3; p = 0.02), opioid based pain treatment (coefficient -19.7; p < 0.001) and alcoholic aetiology (coefficient -5.1; p = 0.03) were independently associated with lowered global health status. The final multivariable model explained 18% of the variance in global health status.

CONCLUSIONS: Patients with CP have significantly lower QOL compared to a population-based reference population. Factors independently associated with a lowered QOL are constant pain, opioid based pain treatment and alcohol aetiology. However, these factors only explain a fraction of QOL and additional factors need identification.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPancreatology : official journal of the International Association of Pancreatology (IAP) ... [et al.]
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)1347-1353
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Determinants
  • Inflammation
  • Quality of life
  • Risk factors
  • Smoking


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