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Prevalence of Panoramically Imaged Carotid Atheromas in Alcoholic Patients With Chronic Pancreatitis and Comorbid Diabetes



Men with alcohol-related chronic pancreatitis (ARCP) resulting in type 3c diabetes mellitus (DM) are at a uniquely elevated risk of adverse ischemic events given the role of inflammation in both the underlying disease processes and atherosclerosis. We hypothesized that their panoramic images would show a prevalence of calcified carotid artery atheromas (calcified carotid artery plaques [CCAPs]) significantly more often than a general population of similarly aged men.

Patients and methods

We implemented a retrospective observational study. The sample was composed of male patients older than 30 years having panoramic images. The predictor variable was a diagnosis of ARCP-DM, and the outcome variable was the prevalence rate of CCAPs. The prevalence of CCAPs among the patients with ARCP-DM was then compared with that of a historical general population composed of similarly aged men. Descriptive and bivariate statistics were computed, and the P value was set at .05.


Of the 32 men (mean age, 61.7 ± 11.2 years) with ARCP-DM, 8 (25%) (mean age, 63.3 ± 4.80 years) had atheromas (CCAPs). There was a statistically significant (P < .05) association between a diagnosis of ARCP-DM and the presence of an atheroma on the panoramic image in comparison with the 3% rate manifested by the historical general-population cohort. The presence or absence of classic atherogenic risk factors within the ARCP-DM cohort failed to distinguish between individuals with and individuals without atheroma formation on their panoramic images.


The results of this study suggest that CCAP, a risk indicator for future adverse cardiovascular events, is frequently seen on the panoramic images of male patients with ARCP-DM. Dentists treating male patients with the disorder must be uniquely vigilant for the presence of these lesions.

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