The Relationship Between Heritability and Smoking Habits in Crohn's Disease

Brignola, Corrado; Belloli, Clarissa; Ardizzone, Sandro; Astegiano, Marco; Cottone, Mario; Trallori, Giacomo
November 2000
American Journal of Gastroenterology;Nov2000, Vol. 95 Issue 11, p3171
Academic Journal
OBJECTIVE: In Crohn's disease (CD), the relationship between genetic predisposition and smoking has not been well defined. The aim of this study was to compare the smoking habits at the time of the diagnosis of CD patients having familial occurrence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with those of some control groups. METHODS: In a multicenter study, 136 CD patients with a relative with IBD, 272 healthy controls matched for sex and age, 500 CD patients without familial occurrence of IBD, and 84 ulcerative colitis patients (UC) with familial occurrence of IBD were personally interviewed about their smoking habits. In addition, data for 35 healthy siblings of patients with familial CD were collected by interviewing the patients' relatives. RESULTS: The prevalence of smokers was found significantly higher in CD patients with a family history for IBD than in healthy controls and in familial UC patients (OR 2.28 CI 1.5-3.48 and OR 5.81 CI 3.15-10.75, respectively). No significant difference was found either in the percentage of smokers or in the number of cigarettes smoked per day between familial and sporadic CD patients. Among all siblings of CD patients, 72% of affected siblings and 34% of healthy siblings were smokers, concordant with their relatives. CONCLUSIONS: In CD patients with familial occurrence of IBD, the percentage of smokers is elevated. It is possible that in a genetically predisposed population, smoking could be an important environmental factor in determining CD or expressing this disease instead of UC.


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