A Population-Based Assessment of the Burden of Acute Pancreatitis in the United States
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OBJECTIVES: The aim of this study is to investigate the incidence and mortality of emergency department (ED) visits in the United States attributed to acute pancreatitis (AP) and quantify predictors of admission and mortality. METHODS: Using the nationwide ED sample, all ED visits between 2006 and 2009 for AP were extracted. Multivariable analyses were fitted for prediction of admission and mortality. RESULTS: A weighted sample of 1,224,121 patient visits with AP was captured. Of those, 75.4% resulted in admission and 0.7% died. Between 2006 and 2009, the incidence of AP ED visits increased from 9.9 to 10.6 per 10,000 person-years. Patients were more likely to be admitted if sicker (Charlson Comorbidity Index score ≥ 3; OR, 6.48; P < 0.001) and if the etiology of pancreatitis was alcoholic versus biliary (OR, 2.20; P < 0.001). They were more likely to die if sicker (Charlson Comorbidity Index score ≥ 3; OR, 1.51; P < 0.001) and covered with Medicare or Medicaid versus private insurance (OR, 1.40; P < 0.001 and OR, 1.45; P < 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Emergency department visits for AP represent a significant burden on US health care. Although mortality is lower than previously reported, significant disparities exist in patients presenting with AP with regard to admission and mortality rates. Further investigations are needed to assess these disparities.
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