Venous Thromboembolism Risk 5 Times Higher for IBD Patients Using Corticosteroid Therapy

Venous Thromboembolism Risk 5 Times Higher for IBD Patients Using Corticosteroid Therapy
A recent study from the University of Michigan led by Peter Higgins, found that compared with biologic therapy, corticosteroid therapy increases the risk in five-fold of venous thromboembolism in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Evidence has established a strong association between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) flares and the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and pulmonary embolism. In their study entitled "Increased Risk of Venous Thromboembolic Events With Corticosteroid vs Biologic Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease" published in the current issue of the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the research team retrospectively examined a total of 15,100 adults with inflammatory bowel disease for 12 months who were treated with biologics, corticosteroids or combination therapy, and examined the risk of venous thromboembolic events. Using logistic regression to examine the effects of biologic, corticosteroid, and combination therapies (biologics and corticosteroids) on VTE risk, the researchers were able to identify during the study period, 325 cases of VTEs in 2.25% of the patients who received only corticosteroids, in 0.44% of the patients who received biologics, and in 2.49% of the patients who received the combination therapy. Furthermore, the research team found that compared with the patients who received only corticosteroids, the likelihood for VTE in patients receiving only biologics was 0.2, and the likelihood for VTE in patients on combination therapy was 1.01. "We found that corticosteroid use -- either alone or in combination with biologics -- substantially increases the rate of venous thromboembolic events," said lead study author Peter D.R. Higgins, MD, PhD, MSc, from the University of Michigan, in a recent news
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