Acute Pancreatitis Has a Long-term Deleterious Effect on Physical Health Related Quality of Life.

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It is not clear how acute pancreatitis (AP) affects health related quality of life (HRQOL). We aimed to determine the long-term independent effect of AP on physical and mental HRQOL.


We analyzed data from 91 patients (mean 52 years of age, 54% women) admitted with AP to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center from 2011 to 2015 who responded to telephone surveys at a median of 14 months after hospital discharge (interquartile range, 12-16 months). Individuals who did not answer the telephone survey were sent a questionnaire by regular mail. Patients answered questions from the 12-Item Short-Form Survey, and answers were used to calculate mental component summary (MCS) and physical component summary (PCS) scores with norm-based scoring (normal ≥50). HRQOL for these subjects was compared with that of age- and sex-matched individuals without pancreatitis (1:2) identified from the North American Pancreatitis Study. We controlled for other covariates using multivariable regression analysis.


At follow-up, individuals with AP had a significantly lower PCS score (46.2 ± 11.8) than did control subjects (51.1 ± 9.5; P < .01), but a similar MCS score. A 4-point reduction of the PCS was attributed to AP after controlling for sociodemographic factors and medical comorbidities. The only pancreatitis-related factor associated with low PCS score was multisystem organ failure. Presence of abdominal pain, analgesic use, disability, and current smoking at the time of follow-up were also associated with lower PCS scores. Etiology of AP, disease severity (by Revised Atlanta classification), use of nutritional support, and performance of pancreatic interventions did not affect HRQOL at follow-up.


In a 14-month follow-up of patients hospitalized with AP, we found a meaningful, independent, and deleterious effect of AP in the physical HRQOL of these patients, compared to individuals without AP. Further research is needed to determine the duration of this impairment and to evaluate the effects of modifying risk factors.

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