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C C Alperen et al, 2024. Role of Environmental Risk Factors in the Etiology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Multicenter Study, Dig Dis Sci.

Role of Environmental Risk Factors in the Etiology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Multicenter Study

C C Alperen
Dig Dis Sci
June 6, 2024


The increasing global incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) necessitates an investigation into the potential influence of environmental risk factors on its origin.

This multicenter case-control study aimed to investigate potential environmental risk factors contributing to IBD development in Turkey.

The study included 156 Crohn's disease (CD), 277 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients, and 468 controls (matched for age and gender) from six hospitals' gastroenterology departments. Data collection relied on the International Organization of IBD's questionnaire on environmental factors. Each environmental factor was initially analyzed using univariate and subsequently multivariate logistic regression models.

In the multivariate model, regular coffee consumption was associated with decreased odds for both CD (OR 0.28; 95% CI 0.14-0.55) and UC (OR 0.25; 95% CI 0.15-0.42). Stress was associated with UC (OR 3.27; 95% CI 1.76-6.10) and CD (OR 4.40; 95% CI 2.12-9.10) development. A history of childhood infectious diseases (gastroenteritis, upper respiratory tract infections, etc.) raised the odds for both CD (OR 9.45; 95% CI 2.51-35.6) and UC (OR 7.56; 95% CI 1.57-36.4). Conversely, consuming well/spring water (OR 0.22; 95% CI 0.10-0.50) and childhood antibiotic use (OR 0.41; 95% CI 0.18-0.93) showed a positive association against UC. Increased consumption of refined sugar and industrial food products emerged as risk factors for IBD. Smoking increased the risk for CD (OR 2.38; 95% CI 1.16-4.91), while ex-smoking increased the risk for UC (OR 3.16; 95% CI 1.19-8.37).

This study represents the first multicenter case-control study in Turkey examining the effects of environmental factors on IBD. It revealed that coffee consumption is positively associated, while stress and childhood infection-related diseases are risk factors. These findings, which are not supported by other studies, provide insight into the relationships between these factors and IBD.

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