Body Mass Index, Genetic Susceptibility, and Risk of Complications Among Individuals with Crohn's Disease

Pringle PL1, Stewart KO, Peloquin JM, Sturgeon HC, Nguyen D, Sauk J, Garber JJ, Yajnik V, Ananthakrishnan AN, Chan AT, Xavier RJ, Khalili H. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2015 Jul 15. [Epub ahead of print]
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1*Division of Gastroenterology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; †Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; ‡The Broad Institute, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and §Center for Computational and Integrative Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts.


BACKGROUND: Obesity is associated with systemic and intestine-specific inflammation and alterations in gut microbiota, which in turn impact mucosal immunity. Nonetheless, a specific role of obesity and its interaction with genetics in the progression of Crohn's disease (CD) is unclear.

METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of patients with CD enrolled in Prospective Registry in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Study at Massachusetts General Hospital (PRISM). Information on diagnosis of CD and its complications were collected and confirmed through review of medical records. A genetic risk score was calculated using previously reported single-nucleotide polymorphisms-associated genome-wide with CD susceptibility. We used logistic regression to estimate the effect of body mass index (BMI) and its interaction with genetic risk on risk of CD complications.

RESULTS: Among 846 patients with CD, 350 required surgery, 242 with penetrating disease, 182 with stricturing disease, and 226 with perianal disease. There were no associations between obesity (BMI ≥ 30 kg/m) and risk of perianal disease, stricturing disease, or surgery. Compared with normal-weight individuals with BMI < 25 kg/m, obesity was associated with lower risk of penetrating disease (odds ratio [OR = 0.56; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.31-0.99). This association persists among a subgroup of participants with available BMI before development of penetrating disease (OR = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.16-0.88). There were no interactions between BMI and genetic risk score on risk of CD complications (all Pinteraction > 0.28).

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that obesity does not negatively impact long-term progression of CD, even after accounting for genetic predisposition.

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