Known genetic susceptibility factors for chronic pancreatitis in patients of European ancestry are rare in patients of African ancestry


GI Associates LLC, St. Luke's Medical Center


BACKGROUND: Multiple pathogenic genetic variants are associated with pancreatitis in patients of European (EA) and Asian ancestries, but studies on patients of African ancestry (AA) are lacking. We evaluated the prevalence of known genetic variations in African-American subjects in the US.

METHODS: We studied prospectively enrolled controls (n = 238) and patients with chronic (CP) (n = 232) or recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP) (n = 45) in the NAPS2 studies from 2000-2014 of self-identified AA. Demographic and phenotypic information was obtained from structured questionnaires. Ancestry and admixture were evaluated by principal component analysis (PCA). Genotyping was performed for pathogenic genetic variants in PRSS1, SPINK1, CFTR and CTRC. Prevalence of disease-associated variants in NAPS2 subjects of AA and EA was compared.

RESULTS: When compared with CP subjects of EA (n = 862), prevalence of established pathogenic genetic variants was infrequent in AA patients with CP, overall (29 vs. 8.19%, OR 4.60, 95% CI 2.74-7.74, p < 0.001), and after stratification by alcohol etiology (p < 0.001). On PCA, AA cases were more heterogeneous but distinct from EA subjects; no difference was observed between AA subjects with and without CP-associated variants. Of 19 A A patients with CP who had pathogenic genetic variants, 2 had variants in PRSS1 (R122H, R122C), 4 in SPINK1 (all N34S heterozygotes), 12 in CFTR (2 CFTR

CONCLUSION: Pathogenic genetic variants reported in EA patients are significantly less common in AA patients. Further studies are needed to determine the complex risk factors for AA subjects with pancreatitis.

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