Disease Activity in Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is Associated With Arterial Vascular Disease

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020 Jul 3;izaa156. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izaa156. Online ahead of print.

Timothy R Card 1 2, Eran Zittan 3, Geoffrey C Nguyen 4, Matthew J Grainge 1


Author information

  • 1Division of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, UK.
  • 2National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Nottingham, UK.
  • 3Ellen and Pinchas Mamber Institute of Gastroenterology and Liver Diseases, IBD Unit, Emek Medical Center, Afula, Israel.
  • 4Department of Medicine, Mount Sinai Inflammatory Bowel Disease Centre, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.


Background and aims: There is evidence that several inflammatory diseases are associated with increased cardiovascular risk. Whether this is true for inflammatory bowel diseases remains controversial. We aimed to assess this risk, corrected for the effects of conventional vascular risk factors and IBD disease activity.

Methods: We conducted a cohort study in British general practice and hospital records from the Clinical Practice Research Datalink. We extracted the records of subjects with IBD and matched controls from 1997 to 2017. We conducted Cox proportional hazards and self-controlled case series analyses to examine the associations of IBD, disease activity, and hospitalization with the risk of myocardial infarction, stroke, and cardiovascular death in a manner attempting to remove the effect of likely confounders.

Results: We identified 31,175 IBD patients (16,779 UC, 10,721 Crohn's disease, and 3675 unclassifiable cases) and 154,412 matched controls. Five hundred thirty-two myocardial infarctions, 555 strokes, and 469 cardiovascular deaths were observed in IBD cases. Our Cox regression models, adjusted for potential confounders, showed no significant excess of vascular events for IBD patients overall. There was, however, an increased hazard of myocardial infarction in ambulatory patients for acute disease (hazard ratio, 1.83 [1.28-2.62]) and chronic activity (hazard ratio, 1.69 [1.24-2.30]). This effect of disease activity was confirmed in our case series analysis.

Conclusions: Though we have found no evidence of an overall excess of vascular events in IBD patients, our findings of increased risk with more active disease suggest the potential for anti-inflammatory therapies to reduce cardiovascular risk in this patient group.

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