Obesity linked to higher risk for dangerous bowel disease

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In a study from the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, scientists found obesity, as measured by body mass index (BMI), is associated with an increased risk for Crohn disease but not ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

It causes swelling of the tissues (inflammation) in your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.

The team analyzed data from five large studies with validated measurements for BMI and waist-hip ratio and other lifestyle factors to examine the association between obesity and Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis risk.

The researchers confirmed 563 incident cases of Crohn disease and 1,047 incident cases of ulcerative colitis among 601,009 participants.

The team found that compared with normal BMI (18.5 to <25 kg/m2), obesity (baseline BMI ≥30 kg/m2) was linked to increased Crohn disease risk.

Each 5-kg/m2 increment in early adulthood BMI (age 18 to 20 years) was associated with a significant increase in Crohn disease risk.

An increase in waist-hip ratio was associated with increased Crohn disease risk, but the association was not strong.

There were no associations observed between measures of obesity and ulcerative colitis risk.

These results imply that the growing burden of obesity is likely contributing to the increasing incidence of Crohn disease worldwide.

Future work should consider examining the precise mechanisms through which obesity may influence the etiopathogenesis of Crohn disease.

If you care about weight loss, please read studies about why diet drinks make you gain more weight, and daily avocado helps reduce inflammation in overweight people.

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The study was conducted by Simon S. M. Chan et al and published in Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

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