Conference Coverage

Heart attacks soar in young IBD patients



Inflammatory bowel disease significantly increases the risk of a heart attack in adults, but especially young adults aged 18-24 years, and in women compared with men across all age groups, according to data from about 200,000 IBD patients.

The odds ratio for heart attack in IBD patients vs. controls remained a significant 1.2 after adjustment for traditional cardiovascular risk factors, Muhammad S. Panhwar, MD, said in a media briefing in advance of the annual meeting of the American College of Cardiology.

“Chronic inflammation has been recognized as having an important role in the development of heart disease,” he noted.

Although other chronic inflammatory conditions are associated with increased heart attack risk, the link between heart attacks and IBD has not been well studied, despite its high prevalence in the United States (about 3 million adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), said Dr. Panhwar, an internal medicine resident at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He and his colleagues reviewed a nationwide medical records database of 17.5 million adults aged 18-65 years for diagnoses of IBD between 2013 and 2017. Overall, 1.2% of the patients (211,870) had IBD, and most of the patients in the IBD group were younger, female, and white, Dr. Panhwar noted.