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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Childhood growth and risk of inflammatory bowel disease: a population-based study of 317,030 children

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Background: Growth in childhood is associated with later development of autoimmune diseases and cancer, but the impact of growth on risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains unknown. We conducted a population-based cohort study to examine whether birth weight, childhood height, or changes in height associated with later risk of IBD. Methods: Our cohort consisted of 317,030 children from the Copenhagen School Health Records Register (born 1930-1989) with height repeatedly measured from age 7 to 13 and with data on birth weight on a subset. Through linkage to the Danish National Patients Register, cases of IBD were identified. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to examine associations between measures of childhood growth and risk of IBD. Results: During more than 9 million years of follow-up, 1612 individuals were diagnosed with Crohn's disease (CD) and 2,640 with ulcerative colitis (UC). Birth weight and childhood heights were not associated with subsequent risk of CD or UC (HRs close to 1.00). Childhood growth from 7 to 10 years (CD: HR, 1.00; 95% CI, 0.85-1.18; UC: HR, 0.92; 95% CI, 0.81-1.05) and 10 to 13 years (CD: HR, 1.02; 95% CI, 0.89-1.17; UC: HR, 0.95; 0.85-1.05) did not associate with risk of IBD either. Conclusion: In this large population-based cohort study, birth weight and childhood growth did not influence risk of IBD, which contrasts with observations in other chronic diseases. Thereby, the study also suggests that pre-clinical effects of adult IBD are not measurable in childhood and that childhood risk factors for IBD do not influence growth.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume54
Issue number7
Pages (from-to)863-868
Number of pages6
ISSN0036-5521
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Birth weight, childhood growth, height, inflammatory bowel disease

ID: 57571910