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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Tied to Thromboembolism Risk

Relative risk higher in patients age 20 and younger, although incidence increases with age

FRIDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- Patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have twice the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) compared to the general population, according to a study published online Feb. 21 in Gut.

Michael D. Kappelman, M.D., M.P.H., from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and colleagues studied 49,799 patients with IBD and 477,504 members of the general population to determine the incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in a Danish cohort of patients with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Analyses were performed to adjust for confounders, including a nested case-control analysis, which adjusted for additional comorbidities and use of medications.

The researchers found that VTE risk was increased in patients with IBD (hazard ratio, 2.0). The relative risk of VTE was higher in younger patients, although the incidence increased with age. For patients aged 20 and younger, the hazard ratio for DVT was 6.0, and for PE it was 6.4. After adjusting for comorbidity and medication use, the odds ratio for all events ranged from 1.5 to 1.8, indicating an independent association between IBD and VTE.

"This study provides further robust evidence of an association between IBD and VTE," the authors write. "We also urge physicians to be vigilant and have a low threshold to carefully evaluate patients with IBD who develop the signs or symptoms of possible VTE."

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