Obesity may promote Crohn’s disease in adults

11 Jul 2021
Obesity may promote Crohn’s disease in adults

Adults with obesity are at increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease, particularly Crohn’s disease (CD) but not ulcerative colitis (UC), a study has found.

The study used data from five prospective cohorts with complete anthropometric data, including body mass index (BMI) and waist-hip ratio (WHR) and other lifestyle factors. Researchers ascertained diagnoses of CD and UC through medical records or by using validated definitions.

A total of 601,009 participants (age range 18–98 years) comprised the study population. There were 563 incident cases of CD and 1,047 incident cases of UC documented over 10,110,018 person-years of follow-up.

Multivariable Cox regression analysis showed that compared with participants who had normal BMI (18.5 to <25 kg/m2), those with obesity (BMI ≥30 kg/m2) had an elevated risk of CD (pooled adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.34, 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.05–1.71; I2, 0 percent).

Each 5-kg/m2 increment in baseline BMI contributed to a 16-percent increase in the risk of CD (pooled aHR, 1.16, 95 percent CI, 1.05–1.22; I2, 0 percent). Likewise, each 5-kg/m2 increment in early adulthood BMI (age 18–20 years) was associated with a 22-percent risk increase (pooled aHR, 1.22, 95 percent CI, 1.05–1.40; I2, 13.6 percent).

On the other hand, a high WHR was associated with a heightened risk of CD that did not reach statistical significance (pooled aHR across quartiles, 1.08, 95 percent CI, 0.97–1.19; I2, 0 percent).

UC showed no association with any measures of obesity.

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