Exposure to bacterial antigens and other environmental factors in combination with a genetic susceptibility have been implicated in the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Certain perinatal circumstances, such as delivery by cesarean section, predispose to a different intestinal colonizations.
Dr Barbara Sonntag and colleagues from Germany defined a potential influence on the development of inflammatory bowel disease in later life.
|Disease in the first year of life was associated with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The team recorded birth data in a case-control study design.
The researchers assessed 1096 patients diagnosed with Crohn's disease, 763 with ulcerative colitis, and 878 healthy controls by a self-administered questionnaire.
The researchers found preterm birth, mother's disease during pregnancy, and disease in the first year of life are associated with the development of IBD in later life.
No significant associations were found for the mode of delivery and breast feeding.
In a logistic regression analysis, female sex, smoking, appendectomy, maternal inflammatory bowel disease, and disease in the first year of life were independently associated with Crohn's disease.
The team found that female sex, appendectomy, and disease in the first year of life were independently associated with ulcerative colitis.
Dr Sonntag's team concluded, "Preterm birth and other perinatal circumstances are associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease, of which disease in the first year of life is an independent risk factor in multivariate analysis."