The world has seen an increase in pancreatitis over the last two or three decades. There are several possible reasons for this fact which includes better diagnostics and the increased incidences of gallbladder conditions. While the number of cases continues to rise, the mortality rate is decreasing. Better treatment options also exist, including less invasive surgical interventions.
The annual incidence of acute pancreatitis is 20 to 40 cases per 100,000 people, according to the Mayo Clinic. That number is significantly less for chronic pancreatitis. Chronic pancreatitis cases are 4 to 9 per 100,000 people.
Alcohol remains the most common trigger for the condition, and there is an increase in genetic factors identified, as well. Alcohol can lead to acute pancreatitis that then transitions into a chronic state.
Deaths from acute pancreatitis are declining, but they are rising for those with chronic conditions. Pancreatic cancer is one of the five top causes of death from cancer.