Divergent trends in lifetime drinking and smoking between Black and White Americans diagnosed with chronic pancreatitis


Aurora St. Luke's Medical Center


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: Black Americans are at increased risk of chronic pancreatitis (CP) compared to their White counterparts. We aimed to describe the race-specific smoking history and lifetime drinking in patients diagnosed with CP.

METHODS: We analyzed data on 334 Black and White CP participants of the North American Pancreatitis Study 2 Continuation and Validation Study and Ancillary Study. Lifetime drinking history and lifetime smoking history were collected through in-person interviews. Intensity, frequency, duration and current status of drinking and smoking were compared between Black and White CP participants, stratified by physician-defined alcohol etiology. In addition, drinking levels at each successive decades in life (20s, 30s, 40s) were compared by race and graphically portrayed as heat diagrams.

RESULTS: Among patients with alcoholic CP, current smoking levels were not different by race (67-70%), but a smaller proportion of Black patients reported having smoked 1 or more packs per day in the past (32%) as compared to White patients (58%, p < 0.0001). Black patients were more likely to report current consumption of alcohol (31%), as opposed to White patients (17%, p = 0.016). Black patients also reported more intense drinking at age 35 and 45 years as compared to White patients, while age at CP onset were similar between the two groups.

CONCLUSION: We found more intense drinking but less intense smoking history in Black CP patients as compared to White CP patients. Effective alcohol abstinence and smoking cessation program with sustained impact are needed in CP patients.

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