Stroke risk higher in people with inflammatory bowel disease

Population-based study of stroke risk in IBD patients.

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Emerging evidence suggests that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may face a higher risk of stroke. IBD, which includes conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, is characterized by chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. While previous studies have established a connection between inflammation and cardiovascular disease, the specific association between IBD and stroke risk remains an area of active investigation.

This study aims to explore the potential link between IBD and an increased risk of stroke, shedding light on the underlying mechanisms and highlighting the importance of early monitoring and intervention strategies for individuals with IBD.

A recent study published in the medical journal Neurology of the American Academy of Neurology reveals that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a higher risk of stroke compared to those without the disease. The study emphasizes an association between IBD and stroke but does not establish a causal relationship. IBD involves chronic inflammation of the intestines and encompasses conditions like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and unclassified inflammatory bowel disease.

The study, which involved 85,006 individuals with biopsy-confirmed IBD, revealed that people with IBD had a 13% higher likelihood of experiencing a stroke up to 25 years after their diagnosis than those without IBD. The findings underscore the importance of awareness, screening, and managing stroke risk factors in individuals with IBD, emphasizing the need for timely intervention and monitoring. During the average 12-year follow-up period, 3,720 people with IBD experienced a stroke, with a rate of 32.6 per 10,000 person-years, compared to 15,599 strokes among individuals without IBD, corresponding to 27.7 per 10,000 person-years.

A recent study examining the link between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and stroke risk factors in individuals with IBD emphasizes the need for timely intervention and monitoring. Researchers considered various factors, including heart disease, high blood pressure, and obesity. They found that the increased risk was primarily associated with ischemic stroke due to a blockage of blood flow to the brain.

The study also included the siblings of individuals with IBD who had no history of IBD or stroke at the study’s outset. It was observed that people with IBD had an 11% higher risk of stroke compared to their siblings without IBD. Notably, the elevated risk persisted even 25 years after the initial diagnosis of IBD. However, the study had limitations, including changes in diagnostic criteria over the study period and incomplete information on specific factors affecting stroke risks, such as diet, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

In conclusion, this population-based, sibling-controlled cohort study highlights significant long-term stroke risk factors in individuals with IBD, emphasizing the need for timely intervention and monitoring. The findings underscore the importance of regular monitoring and managing stroke risk factors in patients with IBD. Further research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms driving the increased risk and to develop targeted interventions to reduce the burden of stroke in this population.

Journal Reference:

  1. Jiangwei Sun, Jonas Halfvarson et al. Long-term Risk of Stroke in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Population-Based, Sibling-Controlled Cohort Study, 1969–2019. Neurology. DOI:10.1212/WNL.0000000000207480.

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