A New Look at Familial Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Ashkenazi Jewish Population

Schiff ER1, Frampton M2, Semplici F2, Bloom SL3, McCartney SA3, Vega R3, Lovat LB3,4, Wood E5, Hart AL6, Crespi D7, Furman MA7, Mann S8, Murray CD9, Segal AW2, Levine AP2. Dig Dis Sci. 2018 Sep 3. doi: 10.1007/s10620-018-5219-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Author information

1 Centre for Molecular Medicine, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK. e.schiff@ucl.ac.uk.

2 Centre for Molecular Medicine, Division of Medicine, University College London, London, UK.

3 Department of Gastroenterology, University College London Hospital, London, UK.

4 Research Department of Tissue and Energy, Division of Surgery and Interventional Science, University College London, London, UK.

5 Gastroenterology Department, Homerton University Hospital, London, UK.

6 Gastroenterology Department, St Mark's Hospital, London, UK.

7 Centre for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.

8 Gastroenterology Department, Barnet General Hospital, London, UK.

9 Centre for Gastroenterology, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are particularly common among the Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population. Population-specific estimates of familial risk are important for counseling; however, relatively small cohorts of AJ IBD patients have been analyzed for familial risk to date. This study aimed to recruit a new cohort of AJ IBD patients, mainly from the UK, to determine the familial occurrence of disease.

METHODS: A total of 864 AJ IBD patients were recruited through advertisements, hospital clinics, and primary care. Participants were interviewed about their Jewish ancestry, disease phenotype, age of diagnosis, and family history of disease. Case notes were reviewed.

RESULTS: The 864 probands comprised 506 sporadic and 358 familial cases, the latter with a total of 625 affected relatives. Of the UK cases, 40% had a positive family history with 25% having at least one affected first-degree relative. These percentages were lower among those recruited through hospital clinics and primary care (33% for all relatives and 22% among first-degree relatives). Examining all probands, the relative risk of IBD for offspring, siblings, and parents was 10.5, 7.4, and 4, respectively. Age of diagnosis was significantly lower in familial versus sporadic patients with Crohn's disease.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reports familial risk estimates for a significant proportion of the AJ IBD population in the UK. The high rate of a positive family history in this cohort may reflect the greater genetic burden for IBD among AJs. These data are of value in predicting the likelihood of future recurrence of IBD in AJ families.

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