Aim: Obesity in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly Crohn's disease (CD), has previously been considered unusual (3%). CD patients who are obese tend to have increased perianal complications and a higher level of disease activity on an annual basis. Obesity in Scotland has been documented to have increased over the last decade, and over half all men and women in Scotland are now considered to be overweight. This study aims to assess obesity prevalence in the IBD community in Tayside, Scotland.
Methods: All IBD patients (n = 1,269) were considered for inclusion. Inclusion criteria required a weight measurement taken from the preceding 12 months and a height measurement within the last decade. 489 patients were included in the analysis.
Results: 18% of the Tayside IBD population were obese in comparison to approximately 23% of the Scottish population on a whole. A further 38% of patients were over-weight, the same percentage as the general population. In the overweight and obese ulcerative colitis patients there were higher levels of surgery, but the converse was true in the CD group, where the normal-weight group had the highest levels of surgery. There were significantly more obese men and women with CD than with ulcerative colitis (P = 0.05).
Conclusion: Obesity prevalence has increased in IBD patients. This is significant because of the known increased levels of postoperative complications, perianal disease and requirement for more aggressive medical therapy. Research needs to be done to look at the effects of obesity on the co-morbid associations of other diseases with IBD, in particular colorectal cancer, and to ascertain whether or not screening frequency should be altered depending on BMI.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.