Chronic pancreatitis in kids and adults

Chronic pancreatitis in kids and adults

The risk factors differ, but the outcomes are the same.


A 2019 study compared 224 kids and over 1000 adults who have chronic pancreatitis. They have different risk factors: alcohol and smoking in adults, while genetic factors were present more often in the kids. 

Both have similar exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) and needed PERT (pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy). Pain was just as common in both children and adults. The number of missed days of work and school were about the same, and both groups have similar number of trips to the emergency room and hospital stays.       

Chronic pancreatitis

What was different

Adults with chronic pancreatitis have almost 10 times more cases of diabetes than the kids. That may because they have had chronic pancreatitis longer than the children. The length of time with pancreatitis also explains why more severe disease is seen on the ultrasounds of adults.

(SJ Schwarzenberg and others, Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 2019, pages 566-73