The Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Ambient Air Pollution: A Novel Association
METHODS: The health improvement network (THIN) database in the United Kingdom was used to identify incident cases of Crohn's disease (n=367) or ulcerative colitis (n=591), and age- and sex-matched controls. Conditional logistic regression analyses assessed whether IBD patients were more likely to live in areas of higher ambient concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO(2)), sulfur dioxide (SO(2)), and particulate matter <10 μm (PM(10)), as determined by using quintiles of concentrations, after adjusting for smoking, socioeconomic status, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and appendectomy. Stratified analyses investigated effects by age.
RESULTS: Overall, NO(2), SO(2), and PM(10) were not associated with the risk of IBD. However, individuals ≤23 years were more likely to be diagnosed with Crohn's disease if they lived in regions with NO(2) concentrations within the upper three quintiles (odds ratio (OR)=2.31; 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.25-4.28), after adjusting for confounders. Among these Crohn's disease patients, the adjusted OR increased linearly across quintile levels for NO(2) (P=0.02). Crohn's disease patients aged 44-57 years were less likely to live in regions of higher NO(2) (OR=0.56; 95% CI=0.33-0.95) and PM(10) (OR=0.48; 95% CI=0.29-0.80). Ulcerative colitis patients ≤25 years (OR=2.00; 95% CI=1.08-3.72) were more likely to live in regions of higher SO(2); however, a dose-response effect was not observed.
CONCLUSIONS: On the whole, air pollution exposure was not associated with the incidence of IBD. However, residential exposures to SO(2) and NO(2) may increase the risk of early-onset ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, respectively. Future studies are needed to explore the age-specific effects of air pollution exposure on IBD risk.
Publication titleAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Department/SchoolMenzies Institute for Medical Research
PublisherElsevier Science Inc
Place of publication360 Park Ave South, New York, USA, Ny, 10010-1710
Rights statementCopyright 2010 The American College of Gastroenterology Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/