Inflammatory Activity Linked to Increased Cardiovascular Risk in Subjects with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis

A study released October 17, 2014 in the on-line version of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes relates levels of activity (remission vs. activity vs. flares) of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in patients discharged after their first heart attack with risk of future cardiovascular events and death.  The researchers in Denmark retrieved data on 86,790 patients with first-time myocardial infarction (MI) between 2002 and 2011 for this national cohort study and found 1030 patients who also had documented Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  They found that patients who had IBD had a 17% increase in the risk of cardiovascular events and a 14% increase in all-cause mortality post discharge after their first heart attack as compared to patients without IBD.  The hazard ratios (95% CI) were much higher for all-cause mortality [2.25 (1.61-3.15] and recurrent MI [3.09 (1.79-3.060)] in patients who had flares as compared to those with no IBD.  The authors noted that associations between other inflammatory conditions (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis) and cardiovascular events have been reported, but that they were not aware of any published reports linking IBD to increased cardiovascular events and hence called for “increased clinical vigilance toward both cardiovascular (signs) and gastrointestinal symptoms” in the period post-MI in patients with IBD.

Reference:  Kristensen SL, et al. Prognosis after first-time myocardial infarction in patients with inflammatory bowel disease activity. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. Oct 14,2014 on line.  Doi: 10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES:114.000918.

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