People With IBD At Higher Risk Of Serious Viral Infections, Study Suggests

People With IBD At Higher Risk Of Serious Viral Infections, Study Suggests
Adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have an increased risk of serious viral infections compared to the general population, a study suggests. This risk was found to be highest among younger adults, those with active disease, and patients who have been treated with thiopurines. The study, titled "Increased incidence of systemic serious viral infections in patients with inflammatory bowel disease associates with active disease and use of thiopurines," was published in the United European Gastroenterology Journal. Serious viral infections (SVIs) are generally defined as viral infections that require hospitalization and/or lead to permanent organ damage. While there has been some research into these infections in IBD, the risk factors have not been rigorously determined. In this study, researchers analyzed data from 2,645 patients with IBD, 18 and older, who had been seen at a referral IBD center between 2005 and 2014. Most of the individuals (68.6%) had Crohn's disease, 44.3% were male, and the median age was 34.4 years. The researchers excluded people with ongoing chronic viral infections (hepatitis and HIV). Among the study's population, the researchers identified 31 instances of SVIs (not including asymptomatic viral infections detected in association with IBD flares). The researchers calculated that the incidence rate of SVIs in this population was 2.02 per 1,000 person-years. The most common viruses involved in these infections were Epstein-Barr virus (EBV, best known for causing mono), varicella-zoster virus (which causes chicken pox), herpes simplex virus, and cytomegalovirus (CMV, which doesn't usually cause symptoms in adults, but is known to be a risk for fetuses). Then, the researchers used data from the French National Hospital
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