BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The aim of this study was to examine the risk of new-onset inflammatory bowel disease [IBD] following bariatric surgery.
METHODS: We conducted a nationwide population-based prospective cohort study of the entire Danish population 18 to 60 years of age, alive, and residing in Denmark, from 1996 to 2018. Bariatric surgery was included as a time-dependent variable, and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate hazard ratios [HRs] of IBD. We used a model adjusting for age, sex, and birth cohort and a multifactor-adjusted model additionally including educational status and number of obesity-related comorbidities.
RESULTS: We followed 3 917 843 individuals of whom 15 347 had a bariatric surgery, for development of new-onset IBD. During 106 420 person-years following bariatric surgery, 100 IBD events occurred [incidence rate 0.940/1000 person-years]. During 55 553 785 person-years without bariatric surgery, 35 294 events of IBD occurred [incidence rate 0.635/1000 person-years]. This corresponded to a multifactor-adjusted hazard ratio [HR] of 1.15 (95% confidence interval[CI], 0.94-1.40) for IBD. Multifactor-adjusted HRs of Crohn's disease [CD] and ulcerative colitis [UC] were 1.85 [95% CI, 1.40-2.44] and 0.81 [95% CI, 0.61-1.08], respectively. Among women, the multifactor-adjusted HR for CD was 2.18 [95% CI, 1.64-2.90]. When limiting the study population to individuals with a diagnosis of overweight/obesity, bariatric surgery remained associated with increased risk of CD, multifactor-adjusted HR 1.59 [95% CI, 1.18-2.13].
CONCLUSIONS: This nationwide cohort study shows that bariatric surgery is associated with increased risk of development of new-onset CD, but not of UC. The underlying mechanisms remain elusive.