Pancreatitis Risk For Minorities Increases With Triglyceride Levels
According to a recent study, the pancreatitis condition in ethnic minorities might be associated with increased triglyceride levels, and the chances around this condition are increased by gallstones and alcohol abuse.
According to Medical News, pancreatitis affects the pancreas which is a gland located behind the stomach that helps with digestion and maintaining blood sugar balance within the body. When this gland becomes inflamed, pancreatitis arises, and the condition is divided up into two categories: acute pancreatitis (short-term, which can be treated and lasts anywhere from days to weeks), and chronic pancreatitis (on-going inflammation, with damage to the pancreas).
Meanwhile, a body fat used for energy, triglycerides, enhances heart disease risk. Normal levels lay below 150 milligrams each deciliter (mg/dL); where levels that range over 500 mg/dL are thought to be quite high; those between 1,999 mg/dL to 1,000 mg/dL severe; levels over 2,000 very severe.
Past research has revealed that severe triglyceride levels were linked with pancreatitis; however, the “cut-off” level was never confirmed, and there was not much in terms of studies and minorities. This new report is the first of its kind on pancreatitis, high triglyceride levels, as the multiethnic minority population in the United States.
The team launched retrospective research of around just over 1,150 adult patients stemming from the Cook County Health and Hospitals who has triglyceride levels that were over 1,000 mg/dL. The breakdown in ethnicities were as follows: Pacific Islanders, just over one percent; Asians, just over five percent; Caucasians, 22%; African Americans 31.6%; Hispanics, 38.4 percent.
Just over nine percent of the patients were dealing with the pancreatitis condition.
When it came to those who had very severe levels of triglycerides, over 2,000 mg/dL, there was over a four-fold increase in the pancreatitis condition versus those patients that showed severe triglyceride levels (1,000 to 1,999 mg/dL); proving that 2,000 mg/dL triglyceride levels may be a risk factor for the illness.
Past research has revealed that alcohol is a risk factor for pancreatitis, with the study outlined above confirming that those patients with heavy alcoholic consumptions were four times more likely to develop the condition. In addition, it also confirmed past research around gallstones being a risk factor for pancreatitis, with the females in this study significantly higher at risk.
Interestingly enough, two percent of those in the study that had triglyceride levels under 2,000 mg/dL developed pancreatitis, versus the just over 33% of patients who had levels over 2,000 mg/dL.
The research also found that younger adults seemed more prone to the condition versus older patients; however, the team was unclear as to why older adults in the study with similar risk factors were susceptible to acute pancreatitis.
The findings from this research could help health care professionals asses risks for this condition among those who suffer from severely high levels of triglycerides.
As with any condition, early detection is key when it comes to managing the illness and treatment options. The researchers also note that detecting these risk factors early on and counselling regarding behavioral risks could help decrease chances around developing pancreatitis.