Seasonality in Flares and Months of Births of Patients with Ulcerative Colitis in a Chinese Population

Department of Gastroenterology, The First Affiliated Hospital of Nanchang University, Nanchang 330006, China.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences (Impact Factor: 2.61). 05/2009; 54(5):1094-8. DOI: 10.1007/s10620-008-0453-1
Source: PubMed


Reports on seasonality in flares or months of births of inflammatory bowel disease patients have been inconsistent, but little data are available in a Chinese population. The aim of this study was to determine whether symptom flares and births of ulcerative colitis (UC) patients follow a seasonal pattern.
Patients with a diagnosis of UC established between January 1990 and December 2007 were investigated according to the occurrence of flares of symptoms and months of births. The expected flares or births were calculated on a monthly basis over the study period, taking into consideration the difference in the number of days in the month in each year.
A total of 409 UC patients were included in the study, and 1030 flares of symptoms were determined. The peak number of flares occurred during the spring and summer, especially in June, while the nadir occurred in the winter, especially in January (chi(2) ((11 df))=32.74304, P<0.005). The symptom flares also occurred more frequently in the spring-summer period than in the autumn-winter period (chi(2) ((3 df))=22.1269, P<0.001). There was no statistical difference in birth distribution on a monthly or seasonal (spring, summer, autumn, winter) basis. However, the births of UC patients occurred more frequently in the autumn-winter period than in the spring-summer period when the data were merged into these two seasonal components (chi(2) ((1 df))=5.255607, P<0.025).
The data indicate that the symptom flares of UC occurred more frequently in the spring and summer, while the births of UC patients occurred more often in the autumn and winter. Environmental recurring factors may be associated with the symptom flares of UC, and these factors during pregnancy or postpartum may be associated with susceptibility to UC later in life.

Download full-text


Available from: Aiping Bai, Jan 13, 2015
  • Source
    • "Although the incidence and prevalence of IBD in Asia have been rapidly increasing in recent years,18 there have been few studies regarding the seasonal patterns of IBD in Asian populations. To date, only one study has examined seasonal variation in flares and month of birth in patients with UC in an Asian population, in this case a Chinese population.19 "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Seasonal variation may influence the development and exacerbation of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, most epidemiologic studies on this topic have been conducted in Western countries. The purpose of this study was to determine whether birth dates and symptom flares follow a seasonal pattern in Korean patients with IBD. Patients with a diagnosis of IBD established between January 2003 and December 2010 were investigated at six university hospitals in Korea. The expected births and flares, with a uniform distribution during the year and considering differences in the number of days in the months of 1 year, were calculated. A total of 411 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 316 patients with Crohn disease (CD) were included in the study. Birth during the winter period, and especially in January and February, was associated with an increased risk of IBD, especially in UC patients. The symptom flares of CD patients occurred most frequently in the spring, with a nadir in the autumn. However, no disease flare seasonality was noted for UC patients. Our data suggest that seasonally varying environmental factors during pregnancy and the postpartum period are associated with a susceptibility to IBD later in life and that exacerbations of CD are influenced by seasonal factors.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Gut and Liver
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Environmental factors have been implicated in the etiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but evidence for the hygiene hypothesis is unclear. We investigated the relationship between early-life infection-related exposures and risk of IBD. A hospital-based case-control study was carried out. A total of 124 cases of Crohn's disease (CD) and 146 of ulcerative colitis (UC) were compared with 235 and 278 well-matched control subjects, respectively. A multi-item questionnaire on familial history of IBD, childhood circumstances and familial socioeconomic status was carried out. In a multivariate model, living in urban areas (odds ratio (OR) 4.58 (95% CI 2.17-10)), high educational level (OR 1.83 (95% CI 14-2.95)) and social status (OR 1.68 (95% CI 1.2-2.35)) were risk factors for CD, whereas childhood respiratory infections (OR 0.35 (95% CI 0.23-0.52)) and gastroenteritis (OR 0.55 (95% CI 0.36-0.85)) were protective factors. Living in urban areas (OR 4.6 (95% CI 2.29-9.9)), a high educational level (OR 10.3 (95% CI 2.54-42.1)) and social status (OR 2.042 (95% CI 1.31-3.17)) were also risk factors for UC, whereas respiratory infections (OR 0.42 (95% CI 0.29-0.6)) and gastroenteritis (OR: 0.6 (95% CI 0.42-0.86)) were protective factors. Appendectomy (OR 0.173 (95% CI 0.06-0.52)) and current smoking (OR 0.75 (95% CI 0.59-0.96)) were also protective for UC. These results further support the hypothesis that better living conditions during childhood are associated with an increased risk for IBD, and reinforce the negative association between smoking and appendectomy and the risk of UC.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2010 · Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Photoperiodism is the ability of plants and animals to measure environmental day length to ascertain time of year. Central to the evolution of photoperiodism in animals is the adaptive distribution of energetically challenging activities across the year to optimize reproductive fitness while balancing the energetic tradeoffs necessary for seasonally-appropriate survival strategies. The ability to accurately predict future events requires endogenous mechanisms to permit physiological anticipation of annual conditions. Day length provides a virtually noise free environmental signal to monitor and accurately predict time of the year. In mammals, melatonin provides the hormonal signal transducing day length. Duration of pineal melatonin is inversely related to day length and its secretion drives enduring changes in many physiological systems, including the HPA, HPG, and brain-gut axes, the autonomic nervous system, and the immune system. Thus, melatonin is the fulcrum mediating redistribution of energetic investment among physiological processes to maximize fitness and survival.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2010 · Frontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Show more