Adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent up to 60% of cases of inflammatory bowel disease—Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—according to a large international study, published online in the journal Cancer. Intestine.
The findings led the study authors to suggest that the topic needs further research, especially in people at high risk for these conditions, lifestyle change may be a viable option for future prevention strategies.
Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD for short, affects an estimated 3 million adults in the United States and another 1.3 million in Europe, and diagnoses are increasing, especially in developed countries. new industrialization.
Previously published research has linked IBD risk to a number of lifestyle factors, but it is unclear whether adoption and maintenance healthy lifestyle may reduce your risk of developing this condition in the first place. To find out, the researchers collected participant data from the Nurses’ Health Study (NHS), NHSII and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS).
The Nurses’ Health Study recruited 121,700 female nurses (ages 30-55) from 11 US states in 1976, while the NHSII study, established in 1989, followed 116,429 female nurses (age) 25-42) from 15 US states. HPFS included 51,529 male physicians (40-75) from across the United States in 1986.
The researchers created a modifiable risk score (MRS) for each participant based on established modifiable risk scores. Risk factors for IBD to estimate the rate of avoidable IBD cases. The MRS ranges from 0-6, with higher scores indicating more risk factors.
These risk factors include weight (BMI); smoke; use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; physical activity; and daily intake of fruits, fiber, vegetables, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and red meat.
The researchers then estimated the proportion of cases that could have been avoided if an overall healthy lifestyle was adopted and maintained. Scores of 0-9 were assigned to each participant, with higher scores indicating a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle includes: BMI between 18.5 and 25; never smoked; at least 7.5 hours of MET weekly (METS represents the amount of energy [calories] spend every minute of physical activity); at least 8 servings of fruits and vegetables daily; less than half a daily serving of red meat; at least 25 g of fiber/day; at least 2 servings of fish weekly; at least half a daily serving of nuts/seeds; and up to 1 drink/day for women or 2 drinks for men.
During the follow-up period (NHS, HPFS: 1986-2016; NHSII: 1991-2017), 346 cases of Crohn’s disease and 456 cases of ulcerative colitis were reported.
Based on MRS scores, the researchers estimated that a low MRS could prevent 43% and 44.5% of cases of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, respectively.
Similarly, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent 61% of cases of Crohn’s disease and 42% of cases of ulcerative colitis.
The researchers applied scoring systems to data from three large European studies to validate their findings: the Swedish Mammography Cohort (37,275 participants); group of Swedish men (40,810); and the European Prospective Survey on Cancer and Nutrition (404,144).
These calculations show that a low MRS and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent 44%-51% and 49%-60.5% cases of Crohn’s disease and 21%-28% and 47%-56 respectively. .5% of cases of Crohn’s disease. ulcerative colitis cases.
This was an observational study and therefore cannot establish cause. The researchers acknowledge that the average age at which IBD is diagnosed is older than normal. Possible early lifestyle factors that could have an effect were not considered. These include antibiotic prescriptions; Breastfeeding; environmental factors such as pollution; stress; and socioeconomic factors.
“A key assumption in our findings is that a relationship between lifestyle factors and the development of IBD is causal. Although this has not been established, several lines of evidence support a role. the important role of the environment and lifestyle factor in the development of IBD,” they wrote.
“Lifestyle modification could be an attractive target for future IBD prevention strategies,” they added. “This may be of particular relevance to high-risk groups, such as first-degree relatives of IBD patients, who are estimated to have an estimated 2%-17% lifetime risk of developing the disease.” surname.”
Lifestyle factors for the prevention of inflammatory bowel disease, Intestine (2022). DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328174
British Medical Journal
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