There are few data on the association between psychological stress and the risk of inflammatory bowel disease.
In this study, investigators from Denmark examined whether the death of a child was associated with the development and exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease in bereaved parents.
The team used national registers to identify 21,062 parents who had lost a child under the age of 18 years between 1980 to 1996 (exposed cohort)
A matched cohort of 293,745 parents was selected randomly from the general population (unexposed cohort).
|There was no difference between the groups|
|American Journal of Gastroenterology|
The investigators found that there were 32 inflammatory bowel disease patients in the exposed cohort at study entry. There were 451 prevalent cases in the unexposed cohort.
They found 20 incident cases of Crohn's disease in the exposed cohort and 281 in the unexposed. In addition, the team found 51 incident cases of ulcerative colitis in the exposed cohort and 715 in the unexposed.
The team calculated that the relative risks of first hospitalization for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis were 0.97 and 1.01, respectively.
They did not find any differences in the frequency or duration of hospitalization in the exposed and unexposed patients.
Dr Jiong Li and colleagues concluded, “Our findings do not support an association between psychological stress and the development of inflammatory bowel disease in young-to-middle-aged adults”.