Create Account | Sign In: Author or Forum

News  |  Journals  |  Conferences  |  Opinion  |  Articles  |  Forums  |  Twitter    
Category: Reproductive Medicine | Research | Preventive Medicine | News

Back to Health News

Gene Ups Pancreatitis Risk in Men Who Drink Heavily

Last Updated: November 13, 2012.

But study found men with healthy pancreas were not affected.


But study found men with healthy pancreas were not affected

Share |

Comments: (0)




TUESDAY, Nov. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a genetic variant that seems to put men who are heavy drinkers at high risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.

The genetic variant on the X chromosome near the claudin-2 gene was discovered during a 10-year study that included more than 2,000 people. The variant was found on the X chromosome in 26 percent of men without pancreatitis and in nearly 50 percent of men with alcoholic pancreatitis.

Women have two X chromosomes and it appears that most of those with this high-risk variant on one X chromosome are protected from alcoholic pancreatitis if their other X chromosome is normal.

Men, however, have an X chromosome and a Y chromosome, so they have no protection if their X chromosome has the high-risk variant.

The variant on the X chromosome does not appear to cause pancreatitis, but increases the risk of chronic pancreatitis if a person suffers a pancreatic injury, especially if they drink alcohol, explained the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers.

The study was published online Nov. 12 in the journal Nature Genetics.

Chronic pancreatitis is a progressive inflammatory disease that causes permanent damage to the pancreas. The condition affects more than 100,000 people in the United States. Alcohol is considered a major risk factor for adult-onset chronic pancreatitis, but only about 3 percent of alcoholics develop the disorder, which suggests that there is a factor specific to the pancreas.

"The discovery that chronic pancreatitis has a genetic basis solves a major mystery about why some people develop chronic pancreatitis and others do not," study lead author Dr. David Whitcomb, professor of medicine, cell biology and physiology, and human genetics, said in a university news release.

"We also knew there was an unexpected higher risk of men developing pancreatitis with alcohol consumption, but until now we weren't sure why," he said. "Our discovery of this new genetic variant on chromosome X helps explain this mystery as well."

The study findings may enable doctors to identify people with early signs of pancreatitis or an attack of acute pancreatitis who are at very high risk for progressing to chronic pancreatitis. These patients can then receive treatment to slow the development of the disease and allow the pancreas a chance to heal.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about pancreatitis.

SOURCE: University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, news release, Nov. 12, 2012

Copyright © 2012 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Previous: Kids' Headaches Rarely Due to Vision Problems, Study Finds Next: Head Injury Plus Herbicide Exposure May Triple Parkinson's Risk

Reader comments on this article are listed below. Review our comments policy.

Submit your opinion:





Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?


Useful Sites
  Tools & Services: Follow DoctorsLounge on Twitter Follow us on Twitter | RSS News | Newsletter | Contact us
Copyright © 2001-2016
Doctors Lounge.
All rights reserved.

Medical Reference:
Diseases | Symptoms
Drugs | Labs | Procedures
Software | Tutorials

Links | Humor
Forum Archive
CME | Conferences

Privacy Statement
Terms & Conditions
Editorial Board
About us | Email

This website is certified by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify. This site complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information:
verify here.