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 from the United Kingdom performed the first prospective cohort study investigating if there is an association between obesity and the development of incident inflammatory bowel disease.
A total of 300,724 participants were recruited 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 cohort was monitored identifying participants who developed either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.
The researchers noted that each case was matched with four controls and conditional logistic regression used to calculate odds ratios for body mass index adjusted for smoking, energy intake, and physical activity.
In the cohort, 177 participants developed incident ulcerative colitis, and 75 participants developed incident Crohn's disease.
|Physical activity did not show any association with ulcerative colitis or Crohn's disease|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology |
The doctors reported 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 team of doctors assessed 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."