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Children with low HDL-c more likely to develop inflammatory bowel disease

12 Apr 2018
Children born via caesarean-section have an increased risk in developing childhood obesity and this has been linked to the lack of exposure to a mother’s gut bacteria.

Low serum concentrations of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-c) during childhood is associated with subsequent inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a recent study suggests.

The study included 3,551 children and adolescents whose body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, HDL-c levels, physical activity and C-reactive protein concentrations were measured at baseline in 1980. Participants were followed for subsequent IBD diagnoses, and a multivariable logistic regression model was used to determine significant risk factors for IBD.

After the final follow-up in 2011, 1.4 percent (n=49) of participants developed IBD, of whom 31 had ulcerative colitis, 12 had Crohn’s disease and six had undetermined colitis. Multivariate analysis revealed an inverse and significant relationship between childhood HDL-c and subsequent IBD diagnosis (odds ratio for each 1-standard deviation increase in HDL-c, 0.57; 95 percent CI, 0.39–0.82; p=0.006).

The results remained robust even after adjusting for levels of HDL-c in adulthood (p=0.003) and in sex-specific and outcome-specific analyses. HDL-c levels in adulthood were significantly lower in participants who developed IBD than in those who did not (1.22±0.32 vs 1.32±0.32 mmol/L; p=0.02).

Researchers then performed genotyping on the participants and found that the genetic z-scores 71 single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with elevated HDL-c concentrations were significantly lower in patients with IBD (p=0.01).

Future studies are needed to identify the underlying mechanisms that account for the association between HDL-c and IBD, and potentially provide therapeutic options, said researchers. Clinically, the findings may refine IBD prediction through the consideration of HDL-c information.

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