Inflammatory bowel disease is not associated with increased intimal media thickening

Nitsan Maharshak, Yaron Arbel, Natan M. Bornstein, Amir Gal-Oz, Alexander Y. Gur, Itzahk Shapira, Ori Rogowski, Shlomo Berliner, Zamir Halpern, Iris Dotan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: Several studies have suggested that chronic inflammatory diseases might be associated with an acceleration of the atherosclerotic process. There is little information on the effect of chronic inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the presence of increased intimal media thickening (IMT), a surrogate marker for atherosclerotic diseases. In this work our aim was to determine whether IBD is a risk factor for increased IMT. METHODS: IMT was measured by ultrasound of the carotid arteries; a computer software program was used to analyze 80-100 independent IMT samples from each carotid artery segment in 61 patients with IBD (45 with Crohn's disease and 16 with ulcerative colitis) and in 61 controls matched for age (±2 yr), sex, body mass index (BMI, ±2 kg/m2), and smoking status. RESULTS: Inflammatory markers (erythrocyte sedimentation rate, fibrinogen, high-sensitive C-reactive protein) were significantly (P < 0.001) elevated in IBD patients compared with controls. Even though there was a disease duration of 8.7 ± 8.5 yr, the mean IMT of IBD patients was similar to that of the control group (0.66 ± 0.09 vs 0.64 ± 0.07 mm; P > 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Despite chronic inflammation, IBD patients had IMT values similar to those of the controls. Thus, unlike other inflammatory diseases, IBD appears not to be a risk factor for accelerated atherosclerosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1050-1055
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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