In this prospective longitudinal study, between 1989 and 2000, performed in France and Belgium, 30 couples were found to both have IBD. The couples were divided into one of three groups, depending on symptoms of IBD, before, during, or after cohabitation.
17 were concordant for Crohn's disease and 3 for ulcerative colitis; 10 were mixed.
|22 out of 30 couples developed IBD after cohabiting |
| Gastroenterology |
The highest incidence of conjugal IBD occurred after cohabitation - 22 out of 30 couples.
In these couples, IBD occurred in the first affected spouse an average of 9 years after cohabitation, developing in the second spouse an average of 8.5 years later. Two had IBD before living together
The risk of IBD in their offspring was also assessed.
9 out of 54 children (17%) born to these couples developed Crohn's disease, with a median age of 15 years.
David Laharie concludes, "The frequency of conjugal forms of IBD suggests an etiological role for environmental factors. Offspring of two affected parents have high risk of developing IBD."