Risk factors in German twins with inflammatory bowel disease: results of a questionnaire-based survey.

Martina E Spehlmann, Alexander Z Begun, Ekaterini Saroglou, Frank Hinrichs, Ute Tiemann, Andreas Raedler, Stefan Schreiber
Year of publication:
Journal title abbreviated:
Journal title long:
Journal of Crohn's & colitis : international journal devoted to inflammatory bowel diseases
Impact factor:
Environmental factors may play an important role in the pathogenesis of IBD. The history of patients of the German IBD twin study was analyzed by questionnaires and interviews.Randomly selected German monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) twins with at least one sibling suffering from IBD (n=512) were characterized in detail including demography, medical history and concomitant medications. Controls comprised of non-twin IBD patients (n=392) and healthy subjects (n=207).The most significant variables that were associated with Crohn''s disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) included living abroad before time of diagnosis (OR, 4.32; 95% CI, 1.57-13.69), high frequency of antibiotic use (MZ CD OR, 5.03; 95% CI 1.61-17.74, DZ CD OR, 7.66; 95% CI, 3.63-16.82, MZ UC OR, 3.82; 95% CI, 1.45-10.56, DZ UC OR, 3.08; CI, 1.63-5.92), high consumption of processed meat including sausage (MZ CD OR, 7.9; 95% CI, 2.15-38.12, DZ CD OR, 10.75; 95% CI, 4.82-25.55, MZ UC OR, 5.69; 95% CI, 1.89-19.48, DZ UC OR, 18.11; 95% CI, 7.34-50.85), and recall of bacterial gastrointestinal infections (MZ CD OR, 15.9; 95% CI, 4.33-77.14, DZ CD OR, 17.21; 95% CI, 4.47-112.5, MZ UC OR, 5.87; 95% CI, 1.61-28.0, DZ UC OR, 11.34; 95% CI, 4.81-29.67).This study reinforced the association of life style events, in particular a specific dietary and infections history, with IBD. Alteration of gut flora or alterations of the mucosal immune system in reactivity to the flora could be an important factor to explain the relationship between life-style and disease.