Non-alcoholic fatty pancreas disease

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Abstract

Obesity is a growing problem worldwide and disorders associated with excess body fat including the metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), cardiovascular disease and malignant neoplasms are becoming a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Over the past decade, a vast amount of research has furthered our understanding of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; however, only recently pancreatic fat infiltration is coming to the forefront of investigation. Termed non-alcoholic fatty pancreas disease (NAFPD), it is becoming evident that it has important associations with other diseases of obesity. It appears to arise as obesity progresses and after an initial phase of pancreatic hypertrophy and hyperplasia, fatty infiltration becomes apparent. Various studies have demonstrated that NAFPD may exacerbate the severity of acute pancreatitis, promote pancreatic dysfunction associated with insulin resistance and T2DM, and even have links to the development of pancreatic carcinoma, and therefore, it must be investigated in further detail.

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