International Journal of Colorectal Disease

, Volume 21, Issue 5, pp 399–401 | Cite as

Crohn's disease: the cold chain hypothesis

  • Alastair ForbesEmail author
  • Tommy Kalantzis
Original Article


A recent published hypothesis proposed that Crohn's disease was provoked by infantile exposure to micro-organisms that can survive refrigerator temperature. A case–control study was accordingly devised. The mean age at first fridge was 5.6 years amongst 88 patients with Crohn's disease, 5.5 years in 88 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 7.6 years in 88 controls, but a majority of individuals had always been exposed to refrigerated food. Differences were more striking in subjects aged above the median (10.3, 10.9 and 15.0 years for Crohn's disease, UC and controls, respectively). This support for the hypothesis reached statistical significance for those with Crohn's disease compared to the controls (p=0.045).


Crohn Etiology Microflora Refrigeration 



We thank our medical colleagues in the clinic and our patients for their enthusiastic cooperation with this small study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.St. Mark's Hospital and Academic InstituteHarrowUK

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