In the era of increasing use of immunosuppressive and biologic therapy for inflammatory bowel disease, environmental influences remain important independent risk factors to modify the course of the disease, affect the need for surgery and recurrence rates post-surgical resection. The effect of smoking on inflammatory bowel disease has been established over the decades, however the exact mechanism of how smoking affects remains as area of research. Alcohol is also among the socio-environmental factors which has been recognised to cause a flare of symptoms in inflammatory bowel disease patients. Nonetheless, the exact relation to date is not fully understood, and various paradoxical results from different studies are still a point of controversy.
Keywords: Alcohol; Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease; Post-operative recurrence; Smoking; Ulcerative colitis.
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