Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
En Español (Spanish Version)

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop inflammatory bowel disease with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing inflammatory bowel disease. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

While scientists continue to search for the cause of inflammatory bowel disease, they have determined that certain genetic and environmental factors may increase the likelihood of developing the condition. Exactly why these factors add to the risk is not known at this time.

Risk factors include the following:

Genetic Factors
Having a family member with inflammatory bowel disease increases your chances of getting the disease.

Ethnic Background
White people are more likely to develop both types of inflammatory bowel disease. People of Jewish heritage are at greater risk of Crohn’s disease.

Smoking
Smoking adds to the risk for Crohn’s disease but seems to lower the risk of ulcerative colitis. In addition, former smokers are at greater risk than nonsmokers.

Socioeconomic Factors
Inflammatory bowel disease seems to occur more often among people in higher socioeconomic classes and people with white-collar jobs.

Diet
Having a diet that is high in fat, sugar, and meat may increase your risk of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.




References:
American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org. Accessed March 6, 2006.

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America website. Available at: http://www.ccfa.org. Accessed March 6, 2006.

DynaMed Editorial Team. Crohn's disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated June 16, 2011. Accessed June 17, 2011.

Hou JK, Abraham B, El-Serag H. Dietary intake and risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease: a systematic review of the literature. Am J Gastroenterol. 2011;106(4):563-573.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse website. Available at: http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov. Accessed March 6, 2006.

Rakel RE and Bope ET. Conn's Current Therapy 2001. 53rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: WB Saunders Company; 2001.

Last Reviewed September 2013



Health Information Library content is provided by EBSCO Publishing, fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.

 

This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.

 

To send comments or feedback to EBSCO's Editorial Team regarding the content please e-mail healthlibrarysupport@ebscohost.com.