Why are males more likely to develop chronic pancreatitis than females?

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bandmanjoe eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chronic pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, an organ responsible for the secretion of digestive enzymes.  The largest contributor to chronic pancreatitis is alcohol consumption and abuse over a period of years.  There are other factors as well, such as the formation of gallstones, which block the pathways the enzymes leave the pancreas by.  The enzymes become preactivated within the pancreas instead of the small intestine, and cause damage to the pancreas.  The pancreas is one of those organs that serves multiple purposes.  It creates digestive enzymes and other digestive juices, it also creates several hormones critical to the maintenance of blood sugar levels, most notably insulin and glucagon.  While no specific reason was given for the prevalence of chronic hepatitis in men over women, men are more predisposed to alcohol abuse and tend to not watch their dietary consumption as much as women do, which would be my theory as to why this occurs.

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