A new study entitled “Increased incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in Québec residents with airway diseases” reports that patients afflicted with lung diseases have a higher risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease. The findings could give physicians a new perspective on how to take preventative actions to avoid co-morbidities between IBD and lung diseases. The study was published in the European Respiratory Journal.
In this study, the authors proposed to identify whether patients with lung chronic diseases, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exhibited a higher risk to develop Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease. The team of researchers performed a retrospective study based on the health records in Québec, Canada, collected over a period of 5 years, for patients affected by both airway disease and inflammatory bowel disease. They identified 136,178 patients with asthma and 143,904 with COPD. Overall, the authors found that patients with asthma and COPD exhibited an increase of 27% and 55% of developing Crohn’s disease when compared to the general population. The incidence of ulcerative colitis was reported only in the group of patients with COPD, who had a 30% risk increase.
These results have implications for clinical therapeutics in the population of patients suffering from airway diseases and to perform early assessment of their risk in developing further complications, such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Dr. Paul Brassard, from the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and the study’s first author commented, “These findings have important implications for the early detection of inflammatory bowel disease in airway disease patients. Although a link has previously been suggested, this is the first study to find significantly increased rates of inflammatory bowel disease incidence in people with asthma and COPD. If we can confirm a link between the two conditions, it will help diagnose and treat people sooner, reducing their symptoms and improving their quality of life.”