February 20, 2017
Maori at high risk of pancreatic disease
Auckland University researchers have found Maori have the highest incidence of acute pancreatitis in the world.
Maori and Pacific people are more than two to three times more likely to develop pancreatitis and post-pancreatitis diabetes than New Zealand Europeans of the same age and sex, according to a study published in the latest issue of the NZ Medical Journal.
Dr Max Petrov, the leader of the university's COSMOS research group, says 40 percent of patients develop new-onset prediabetes or diabetes after just one attack of acute pancreatitis.
He says previous New Zealand research was limited to single-hospital studies and was under-representative of minorities – especially Maori and Pacific people.
The new study used data from nearly three million individuals living in New Zealand.
Dr Petrov says these diseases have a large social impact and considerable economic burden.
The research can help to develop treatment strategies that would benefit more than 50,000 New Zealanders every year who develop pancreatitis or post-pancreatitis diabetes.
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