Alcohol linked with pancreatitis

Alcohol linked with pancreatitis

A genetic factor recently discovered on chromosome X does not appear to cause pancreatitis directly, but if pancreatic injury occurs, it is TWICE as likely they will develop chronic pancreatitis if they also drink alcohol. 

David C. Whitcomb, M.D., professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology, and human genetics at the University Of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, and lead author of the report, with colleagues at more than 25 other health centers across the United States, found a genetic variant that predicts which men who are heavy drinkers are at high risk of developing chronic pancreatitis. 

The decade-long research covered over 2,000 DNA-tested patients in a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. 

The researchers found a common DNA variant on the X chromosome that is present in 26% of men without pancreatitis, but in nearly 50% of men diagnosed with alcoholic pancreatitis. 

Dhiraj Yadav, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at Pitt, and a co-investigator on the study, said If pancreatic injury and acute pancreatitis occur, patients must stop drinking immediately” 

Study published in Nature Genetics on November 12, 2012.  As reported by Science Codex on November 12, 2012 from a report by the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences.

Posted: Thursday 21 February 2013

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