Environmental risk factors for chronic pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer
Sommaire de l'article
Chronic pancreatitis has long been thought to be mainly associated with immoderate alcohol consumption. The observation that only ∼10% of heavy drinkers develop chronic pancreatitis not only suggests that other environmental factors, such as tobacco smoke, are potent additional risk factors, but also that the genetic component of pancreatitis is more common than previously presumed. Either disease-causing or protective traits have been indentified for mutations in different trypsinogen genes, the gene for the trypsin inhibitor SPINK1, chymotrypsinogen C, and the cystic fibrosis transmembane conductance regulator (CFTR). Other factors that have been proposed to contribute to pancreatitis are obesity, diets high in animal protein and fat, as well as antioxidant deficiencies. For the development of pancreatic cancer, preexisting chronic pancreatitis, more prominently hereditary pancreatitis, is a risk factor. The data on environmental risk factors for pancreatic cancer are, with the notable exception of tobacco smoke, either sparse, unconfirmed or controversial. Obesity appears to increase the risk of pancreatic cancer in the West but not in Japan. Diets high in processed or red meat, diets low in fruits and vegetables, phytochemicals such as lycopene and flavonols, have been proposed and refuted as risk or protective factors in different trials. The best established and single most important risk factor for cancer as well as pancreatitis and the one to clearly avoid is tobacco smoke.