Recent epidemiology of acute alcoholic pancreatitis in Hungary

A. Oláh, T. Belágyi, G. Varga, G. E. Mohamed, G. Farkas

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background and aims: The incidence of alcoholism as the cause of acute pancreatitis is extremely high in Hungary. The aim of this study was to compare the aetiology of acute pancreatitis over a five-year period with national patterns of drinking. Patients and results: Between 1990 and 1994, 374 patients were admitted to hospital with acute pancreatitis. This number was 3.5 times greater than that for the period 1970-74. Of these 374 cases, 220 patients had an alcoholic aetiology and only 115 has a biliary aetiology. In 127 patients who developed pancreatic necrosis, the incidence of alcoholism was 80%. The growing trend in alcohol consumption, particularly of spirits, over the past two decades has become one of Hungary's most troublesome healthcare problems. The number of heavy drinkers has been estimated as more than a million. The number of pancreatitis-related deaths has quadrupled between 1970 and 1994. Discussion: Among the high alcohol-consuming countries of Europe, Hungary has the most damaging pattern of drinking, 48% of intake being distilled spirit. A high level of alcohol consumption increases the risk of the sudden onset of pancreatitis. In Hungary, the increase in the morbidity and mortality rates of acute pancreatitis is related to a two-fold increase in the level of alcohol consumption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2000



  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Alcoholism
  • Necrotising pancreatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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