Inflammatory bowel disease increases the risk of blood clots

Research published online by the Journal Gut indicates that Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can double the risk of potentially fatal blood clots (venous thromboembolism) in the legs and lungs.

The term inflammatory bowel disease typically refers to both Crohns Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC), both of which are chronic diseases involving the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and superior sagittal sinus thrombosis (SSST), typically affects 2 in every 1000 people in developed countries each year.

The research, which took place between 1980 and 2007, included 50,000 adults and children with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and more than 477,000 members of the general public. The findings took into account the known VTE risk factors, such as a broken bone, cancer, surgery and pregnancy. The comparison identified that the risk of VTE was twice as high in the people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease compared with the general public.

The study further identified that the 20 years or younger age range had the greatest risk of VTE compared with all other age groups. The likelihood of a fatal blood clot in this age group remains very low, however it was six times as common among those with Inflammatory Bowel Disease as it was among the general public of the same age.

A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
A common name for the large and/or small intestines. Full medical glossary
Abnormal, uncontrolled cell division resulting in a malignant tumour that may invade surrounding tissues or spread to distant parts of the body. Full medical glossary
A disease of long duration generally involving slow changes. Full medical glossary
Blood that has coagulated, that is, has moved from a liquid to a solid state. Full medical glossary
Obstruction of one of the deep veins, often in the calf, by a blood clot. Often abbreviated to DVT. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for deep vein thrombosis: the obstruction of one of the deep veins, often in the calf, by a blood clot. Full medical glossary
Obstruction of blood flow by an embolus, a clot (or other material, for example, fat or air) that has become dislodged from elsewhere in the blood system. Full medical glossary
One of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Full medical glossary
The gut, which begins at the mouth and ends at the anus. Full medical glossary
The basic unit of genetic material carried on chromosomes. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for inflammatory bowel disease, a group of inflammatory conditions of the intestine. The two major forms are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Full medical glossary
The body’s response to injury. Full medical glossary
relating to the intestines, the digestive tract between the stomach and the anus Full medical glossary
pulmonary embolism Full medical glossary
A craving to eat non-food substances such as earth or coal. Full medical glossary
the period from conception to birth Full medical glossary
May describe one of a set of air spaces within a bone, or an abnormal channel within the body that may contain blood (usually venous blood) or pus (usually a fistula passing from a deeper infection to the surface). Full medical glossary
The breaking away of a blood clot that is then carried in the blood from one point in the circulatory system to another point, where it lodges. Full medical glossary
The formation of a blood clot. Full medical glossary
A blood vessel that carries blood towards the heart. Full medical glossary
Relating to the veins. Full medical glossary
ventricular tachycardia Full medical glossary