Smokers risk compromised digestion

Oct. 31, 2011 at 8:31 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 31 (UPI) -- Smokers are at risk of compromised digestive function regardless of age, gender and alcohol intake, U.S. researchers found.

Dr. Vivek Kadiyala and researchers at the Center for Pancreatic Disease at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston assessed pancreatic duct cell function in 131 subjects -- 74 who smoked and 57 who had never smoked -- who underwent secretin-stimulated endoscopic pancreatic function testing for pancreatic fluid bicarbonate analysis.

Cigarette smoking exposure was found to be associated with an abnormal endoscopic pancreatic function testing result, and there was no statistical difference in peak bicarbonate concentration between current and former smokers, the researchers said.

The risk of pancreatic duct cell dysfunction was 56.78 percent in former or current smokers and 26.32 percent in non-smokers, Kadiyala told the American College of Gastroenterology's 76th annual scientific meeting in Washington.

"Our data suggest the risk of duct cell dysfunction was doubled in patients who smoked compared to non-smokers," Kadiyala said in a statement. "These findings indicate that anyone with a history of smoking, either current or past is at greater risk of impaired pancreatic duct cell function. Additionally, the findings underscore the value that early smoking cessation may have for patients with chronic pancreatitis and as a result healthcare providers should advise patients to quit smoking as part of their overall treatment plan."

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