UK IBD Twin Registry: Concordance and Environmental Risk Factors of Twins with IBD

Dig Dis Sci. 2021 Jun 7. doi: 10.1007/s10620-021-07080-5. Online ahead of print.

Hannah Gordon 1, William Blad 2, Frederik Trier Møller 2, Timothy Orchard 2, Alan Steel 2, Gareth Trevelyan 2, Siew Ng 2, Marcus Harbord 2


Author information

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Rd, Whitechapel, London, E1 1FR, UK. hannahgordon@doctors.org.uk.
  • 2Department of Gastroenterology, Royal London Hospital, Whitechapel Rd, Whitechapel, London, E1 1FR, UK.


Background and aims: Twin studies have long been used to infer heritability. Within the 'omics era, twin cohorts have even greater research potential. This study describes the formation of the UK IBD Twin Registry and analysis of concordance and environmental factors.

Method: Twin pairs with IBD were recruited by advertising via IBD charities and social media, re-tracing a dormant IBD database and clinician referral. Details of zygosity, concordance, disease history and environmental factors were assessed. Pair concordance was calculated, and environmental factors were analysed with logistic regression models adjusted for zygosity and concordance.

Results: Ninety-one twin pairs were included in the analysis; forty-two with CD and forty-nine with UC. More MZ twin pairs with CD were concordant compared with DZ pairs, thus inferring heritability (Chi-sq. 15.6. P < 0.001). In UC, MZ concordance was also numerically greater. Cigarette smoking was predictive of CD (OR 2.66, 95% CI 1.16 to 6.07 P = 0.02); there may be an independent association with cannabis smoking (OR 2.59 95% CI 0.89 to 7.55 P = 0.08). Breastfeeding was protective against UC (OR 0.48, 95% CI 0.25-0.93, P = 0.03), but not CD. Self-reports of less occurrences of gastroenteritis than peers were protective against future UC onset (OR 0.33 95% CI 0.15 to 0.74, P = 0.01). Method of delivery, parental attitudes towards hygiene and recall of diet did not impact future IBD concordance.

Conclusions: This study supports the heritability of IBD. Twin study analysis was able to elucidate environmental factors associated with IBD.



© Copyright 2013-2024 GI Health Foundation. All rights reserved.
This site is maintained as an educational resource for US healthcare providers only. Use of this website is governed by the GIHF terms of use and privacy statement.