July 19, 2024
Higher Risk of Serious Infections Linked to Microscopic Inflammation in IBD, Study Finds

Higher Risk of Serious Infections Linked to Microscopic Inflammation in IBD, Study Finds

A recent study conducted at the University of Gothenburg has discovered that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are at a heightened risk of serious infections, even during periods of low disease activity. IBD refers to chronic inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, which cause visible damage to the intestinal mucous membrane.

The study, published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, analyzed data from 55,626 individuals diagnosed with IBD. Researchers found that when there was microscopic inflammation, a condition characterized by low disease activity but active gastrointestinal inflammation, the risk of serious infections increased compared to periods of microscopically healed intestinal mucosa.

During periods of microscopic inflammation, there were 4.62 serious infections per 100 people per year. In comparison, the number dropped to 2.53 during periods of microscopically healed mucosa. Adjusting for various factors, researchers discovered a 59% relative risk increase for residual microscopic gastrointestinal inflammation.

Notably, the findings held true irrespective of age, sex, level of education, and the use of prescribed IBD medications. The study utilized data from the ESPRESSO national cohort, which included information from Swedish health registers and the SWIBREG quality register for IBD. These records were linked to microscopic intestinal examinations of IBD patients.

These findings shed light on the importance of addressing microscopic inflammation in IBD patients, even during periods of low disease activity. Recognizing the higher risk of serious infections can help healthcare professionals provide appropriate care and develop targeted preventive measures for individuals with IBD.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
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