Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Does Physical Activity Have A Role To Play?

Endoscopic image of severe Crohn's colitis sho...
Endoscopic image of severe Crohn’s colitis showing diffuse loss of mucosal architecture, friability of mucosa in sigmoid colon and exudate on wall (Photo credit: Wikipedia).

Research Paper Title

Physical Activity and Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Prospective Study from the Nurses’ Health Study Cohorts.

Study Question

What is the association between physical activity and risk of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease?

Summary Answer

Physical activity was inversely associated with risk of Crohn’s disease but not of ulcerative colitis.

What is Known and What This Paper Adds

Many previous studies have limited information on physical activity and lifestyle factors that can influence or modify the association between physical activity and risk of inflammatory bowel disease. This study shows that increased physical activity is associated with a lower risk of Crohn’s disease but not of ulcerative colitis. Taken together with previous observations that physical activity may induce autophagy and modulate innate immunity, this study’s findings suggest that such pathways may play a stronger role in the cause of both diseases.

Reference

BMJ 2013;347:f6633.

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