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Inflammatory Bowel Disease May Raise Likelihood of Heart Attack

Research increasingly shows that inflammation within the body as a whole may increase the risk of heart disease. A new study supports this hypothesis, finding that individuals with the two main types of IBD β€” Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis β€” have higher odds of having a heart attack compared to those without IBD.

Colitis and Crohn’s disease are both recurrent inflammatory diseases. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive system while ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon or large intestine. Inflammatory bowel diseases affect up to 1.6 million Americans, According to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

The The report published in November 2018 in the magazine inflammatory bowel diseasenote that the risk of heart attack among those with IBD persisted even after statistical adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and high cholesterol.

β€œInflammatory bowel disease should be recognized as an independent risk factor for heart disease, and IBD patients should be vigorously screened, cardiovascular risk factors adjusted for, and appropriate screening for any heart attack symptoms by a physician,” he says. Mahazarin Ginwala, MDlead author of the study and director of heart failure at the Harrington Heart and Vascular Institute at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center in Ohio.

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