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News

Body mass index and the risk for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

This month's issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology examines body mass index and the risk for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

News image

Obesity is associated with a proinflammatory state that may be involved in the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease, for which there are plausible biological mechanisms.

Dr Simon Chan and colleagues performed the first prospective cohort study investigating if there is an association between obesity and the development of incident inflammatory bowel disease.

The team recruited a total of 300,724 participants into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition study.

At recruitment, anthropometric measurements of height and weight plus physical activity and total energy intake from validated questionnaires were recorded.

The research team noted that the cohort was monitored identifying participants who developed either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Each case was matched with 4 controls and conditional logistic regression used to calculate odds ratios for body mass index adjusted for smoking, energy intake, and physical activity.

Physical activity did not show any association with ulcerative colitis
American Journal of Gastroenterology

The doctors found that in the cohort, 177 participants developed incident ulcerative colitis, and 75 participants developed incident Crohn's disease.

The team found no associations with the 4 higher categories of body mass index compared with a normal body mass index for ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

The lack of associations was consistent when body mass index was analyzed as a continuous or binary variable.

The research team found that physical activity and total energy intake, factors that influence body mass index, did not show any association with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease.

Dr Chan's team commented "Obesity as measured by body mass index is not associated with the development of incident ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease."

"Alternative measures of obesity are required to further investigate the role of obesity in the development of incident inflammatory bowel disease."

Am J Gastroenterol 2013; 108: 575–582
25 April 2013

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