Military history of patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an epidemiological study among U.S. veterans.
ABSTRACT The military history of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) contains types of exposure that are not available through other sources and may provide clues about the as-yet unknown etiology of IBD. We therefore sought to describe the epidemiology of IBD among veterans, with particular emphasis on their military history.
A case-control study compared 10,544 IBD patients and 42,026 controls with respect to age, gender, ethnicity, time period of military service, military duty in Vietnam, status as prisoner of war, and exposure to Agent Orange.
Subjects with Crohn's disease were younger than those with ulcerative colitis or without IBD (odds ratio: 0.85; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.83-0.87). Both types of IBD affected female veterans significantly more often than male veterans, the relative female predominance being more pronounced in Crohn's disease than ulcerative colitis (0.70; 0.61-0.81 vs 0.83; 0.71-0.96). Whites were more prone to develop both types of IBD than nonwhites (2.46; 2.27-2.68 vs 2.11; 1.95-2.27). Military duty in Vietnam and a status as prisoner of war both exerted a protective influence against Crohn's disease (0.84; 0.75-0.96 and 0.60; 0.41-0.87, respectively), but not ulcerative colitis.
The results are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to poor sanitation decreases the future risk of developing Crohn's disease.
Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine 06/2002; 139(6):334-338. DOI:10.1067/mlc.2002.124343 · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The current etiologic model of inflammatory bowel diseases proposes a genetically predisposed host responding to a variety of environmental triggers by exhibiting an abnormal immune response to normal luminal flora. Crohn's disease is common in highly industrialized western countries where helminths are rare and uncommon in less developed areas of the world where most people carry worms. From this observation grew the hygiene hypothesis, which states that our failure to be exposed to previously common infectious agents alters the immune repertoire established in childhood. Helminths diminish immune responsiveness in naturally colonised humans and reduce inflammation in experimental colitis. Crohn's disease involves over reactive T-helper (Th1) pathways, and helminths blunt Th1 responses, inducing production of Th2 cytokines. Helminths also induce regulatory T cells to maintain host mucosal homeostasis. Thus, there is an immunological basis to expect that exposure to helminths such as Trichuris suis will prove beneficial in Crohn's disease. Exposure to helminths may be effective in treating inflammatory bowel diseases and was well tolerated, according to the results of few studies. Its long-term safety remains unknown.Gastroentérologie Clinique et Biologique 12/2008; 32(12):1064-1074. DOI:10.1016/j.gcb.2008.04.030 · 1.14 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: : This review describes the history of U.S. government funding for surveillance programs in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), provides current estimates of the incidence and prevalence of IBD in the United States, and enumerates a number of challenges faced by current and future IBD surveillance programs. A rationale for expanding the focus of IBD surveillance beyond counts of incidence and prevalence, to provide a greater understanding of the burden of IBD, disease etiology, and pathogenesis, is provided. Lessons learned from other countries are summarized, in addition to potential resources that may be used to optimize a new form of IBD surveillance in the United States. A consensus recommendation on the goals and available resources for a new model for disease surveillance are provided. This new model should focus on "surveillance of the burden of disease," including (1) natural history of disease and (2) outcomes and complications of the disease and/or treatments.Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 11/2013; 20(2). DOI:10.1097/01.MIB.0000435441.30107.8b · 5.48 Impact Factor