To determine the long-term survival and causes of death in fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes, a form of diabetes secondary to tropical chronic pancreatitis.


A cohort of 370 patients with fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes were analyzed with respect to survival time from the date of occurrence of the first symptom of the disease as well as after the onset of diabetes. The cause of death was analyzed in the patients who died. Cumulative survival rates were calculated by the actuarial method, and life table graphs were plotted by mathematical calculations.


Long-term survival of patients with fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes is much better today than that described 30 years ago. About 80% of patients were alive 35 years after the first episode of abdominal pain. The median survival time after the diagnosis of diabetes was 25 years. These figures, however, are still considerably lower than the life expectancy of the age- and sex-matched general population. Diabetic nephropathy was the main cause of death. Pancreatic cancer and other chronic pancreatitis-related causes as well as malnutrition and infections were also important contributors to mortality.


The overall prognosis for patients with fibrocalculous pancreatic diabetes appears to have improved possibly because of earlier diagnosis, better management of diabetes, and improved nutrition.

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