Quality of life in chronic pancreatitis is determined by constant pain, disability/unemployment, current smoking, and associated co-morbidities

Jorge D Machicado
Stephen T Amann
Michelle A Anderson
Judah Abberbock
Stuart Sherman
Darwin L Conwell
Gregory A Cote
Vikesh K Singh
Michele D Lewis
Samer Alkaade
Bimaljit S Sandhu
Nalini M. Guda, Advocate Aurora Health
Thiruvengadam Muniraj
Gong Tang
John Baillie
Randall E Brand
Timothy B Gardner
Andres Gelrud
Christopher E Forsmark
Peter A Banks
Adam Slivka
C Mel Wilcox
David C Whitcomb
Dhiraj Yadav


Objectives: Chronic pancreatitis (CP) has a profound independent effect on quality of life (QOL). Our aim was to identify factors that impact the QOL in CP patients.

Methods: We used data on 1,024 CP patients enrolled in the three NAPS2 studies. Information on demographics, risk factors, co-morbidities, disease phenotype, and treatments was obtained from responses to structured questionnaires. Physical and mental component summary (PCS and MCS, respectively) scores generated using responses to the Short Form-12 (SF-12) survey were used to assess QOL at enrollment. Multivariable linear regression models determined independent predictors of QOL.

Results: Mean PCS and MCS scores were 36.7±11.7 and 42.4±12.2, respectively. Significant (P<0.05) negative impact on PCS scores in multivariable analyses was noted owing to constant mild-moderate pain with episodes of severe pain or constant severe pain (10 points), constant mild-moderate pain (5.2), pain-related disability/unemployment (5.1), current smoking (2.9 points), and medical co-morbidities. Significant (P<0.05) negative impact on MCS scores was related to constant pain irrespective of severity (6.8-6.9 points), current smoking (3.9 points), and pain-related disability/unemployment (2.4 points). In women, disability/unemployment resulted in an additional 3.7 point reduction in MCS score. Final multivariable models explained 27% and 18% of the variance in PCS and MCS scores, respectively. Etiology, disease duration, pancreatic morphology, diabetes, exocrine insufficiency, and prior endotherapy/pancreatic surgery had no significant independent effect on QOL.

Conclusions: Constant pain, pain-related disability/unemployment, current smoking, and concurrent co-morbidities significantly affect the QOL in CP. Further research is needed to identify factors impacting QOL not explained by our analyses.