Infectious Gastroenteritis Linked to Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease more common in patients with prior history of infectious gastroenteritis

THURSDAY, Sept. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Both a prior episode of infectious gastroenteritis and a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), researchers report in the September issue of Gastroenterology.

Chad K. Porter, M.D., of the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, Md., and colleagues performed a case-control study estimating the risk of IBD in patients with a prior case of infectious gastroenteritis using data from the Defense Medical Surveillance System. Identified cases were matched to four controls based on time of diagnosis, gender and age, and the analysis was performed using a conditional logistic regression model.

Overall, 3,019 incident IBD cases were matched to 11,646 controls. After adjustment for confounders, an episode of infectious gastroenteritis increased the risk of IBD (odds ratio 1.40), with the risk for Crohn's disease being slightly higher than that for ulcerative colitis, the researchers found. Additionally, a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome increased IBD risk fivefold.

"In summary, this study is in concordance with previous research supporting the notion that infectious gastroenteritis might contribute to an initiation of IBD among susceptible individuals through disruption of normal gut homeostasis," the authors conclude. "Future studies using well-defined exposures should evaluate the pathogen-specific risks in an effort to better understand the pathophysiology between infectious gastroenteritis and IBD."

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