Infectious gastroenteritis is known to exacerbate previously diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, there are limited data on a causal link between infectious gastroenteritis and incident IBD.
In this study, Dr Chad Porter and colleagues used a medical encounter data repository of active duty military personnel to assess IBD risk in subjects with an antecedent case of infectious gastroenteritis.
The team evaluated 3019 incident IBD cases and 11,646 matched controls between 1999 and 2006 using a conditional logistic regression model.
To control for potential misclassification, the researchers excluded any infectious gastroenteritis episodes within 6 months of IBD diagnosis.
|The risk was higher for Crohn's disease.|
After adjusting for potential confounders, the team found that an episode of infectious gastroenteritis increased the risk of IBD (odds ratio 1.40).
They determined that the risk was slightly higher for Crohn's disease compared with ulcerative colitis.
The team also found that there was a 5-fold increase in IBD risk for persons with a previous diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome.
Dr Porter’s team concluded, “These data support theories that the initiation of IBD is a multifactorial process that might include the disruption of normal gut homeostatic mechanisms”.
“Further studies are warranted to evaluate the pathogen-specific risks, identify susceptible populations, and better understand the pathophysiologic relationship between infectious gastroenteritis and IBD”.