This study aimed to summarize published epidemiological evidence for the relationship between pancreatitis and subsequent risk of pancreatic cancer (PC). We searched Medline and Embase for epidemiological studies published by February 5th, 2014 examining the risk of PC in pancreatitis patients using highly inclusive algorithms. Information about first author, year of publication, country of study, recruitment period, type of pancreatitis, study design, sample size, source of controls and attained age of subjects were extracted by two researchers andStata 11.0 was used to perform the statistical analyses and examine publication bias. Odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with the random effects model. A total of 17 articles documenting 3 cohort and 14 case-control studies containing 14,667 PC cases and 17,587 pancreatitis cases were included in this study. The pooled OR between pancreatitis and PC risk was 7.05 (95%CI: 6.42-7.75). Howeever, the pooled ORs of case-control and cohort studies were 4.62 (95%CI: 4.08-5.22) and 16.3 (95%CI: 14.3-18.6) respectively. Therisk of PC was the highest in patients with chronic pancreatitis (pooled OR=10.35; 95%CI: 9.13-11.75), followed by unspecified type of pancreatitis (pooled OR=6.41; 95%CI: 4.93-8.34), both acute and chronic pancreatitis (pooled OR=6.13; 95%CI: 5.00-7.52), and acute pancreatitis (pooled OR=2.12; 95%CI: 1.59-2.83). The pooledOR of PC in pancreatitis cases diagnosed within 1 year was the highest (pooled OR=23.3; 95%CI: 14.0-38.9); and the risk in subjects diagnosed with pancreatitis for no less than 2, 5 and 10 years were 3.03 (95%CI: 2.41-3.81), 2.82 (95%CI: 2.12-3.76) and 2.25 (95%CI: 1.59-3.19) respectively. Pancreatitis, especially chronic pancreatitis, was associated with a significantly increased risk of PC; and the risk decreased with increasing duration since diagnosis of pancreatitis.