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Influence of food and lifestyle on the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease


Niewiadomski, O and Studd, C and Wilson, J and Williams, J and Hair, C and Knight, R and Prewett, E and Dabkowski, P and Alexander, S and Allen, B and Dowling, D and Connell, W and Desmond, P and Bell, S, Influence of food and lifestyle on the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, Internal Medicine Journal, 46, (6) pp. 669-676. ISSN 1444-0903 (2016) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Royal Australasian College of Physicians

DOI: doi:10.1111/imj.13094


BACKGROUND: The Barwon area in Australia has one of the highest incidence rates of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and therefore is an ideal location to study the impact of environmental exposures on the disease's development.

AIM: To study these exposures prior to the development of IBD in a population-based cohort.

METHOD: One hundred and thirty-two incident cases (81 Crohn disease (CD) and 51 ulcerative colitis (UC)) from an IBD registry and 104 controls replied to the International Organization of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases environmental questionnaire. This included 87 questions about pre-illness exposures that included childhood illnesses, vaccinations, breastfeeding, house amenities, pets and swimming, diet and smoking.

RESULTS: The factors associated with CD included smoking (odds ratio (OR): 1.42, confidence interval (CI): 1-2.02, P = 0.029); childhood events, including tonsillectomy (OR: 1.74, CI: 1.15-2.6, P = 0.003) and chicken pox infection (OR: 3.89, CI: 1.61-9.4, P = 0.005) and pre-diagnosis intake of frequent fast food (OR: 2.26, CI: 1.76-4.33, P = 0.003). In UC, the risk factors included smoking (OR: 1.39, CI: 1.1-1.92, P = 0.026) and pre-diagnosis intake of frequent fast food (OR: 2.91, CI: 1.54-5.58, P < 0.001), and high caffeine intake was protective (OR: 0.51, 95% CI: 0.3-0.87, P = 0.002). Other protective exposures for UC included high fruit intake (OR: 0.59, CI: 0.4-0.88, P = 0.003) and having pets as a child (OR: 0.36, CI: 0.2-0.79, P = 0.001).

CONCLUSION: This first Australian population-based study of environmental risk factors confirms that smoking, childhood immunological events and dietary factors play a role in IBD development; while high caffeine intake and pet ownership offer a protective effect.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Crohn disease, aetiology, environmental factors, epidemiology, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Epidemiology
Research Field:Epidemiology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Studd, C (Dr Corrie Studd)
ID Code:119583
Year Published:2016
Web of Science® Times Cited:49
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2017-08-02
Last Modified:2017-10-12

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