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Prevalence of Pulmonary Diseases in Association with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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Prior reports from small studies suggested an increased prevalence of respiratory diseases in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Large population-based contemporary studies evaluating this association are lacking.


In this retrospective observational cohort study utilizing the US Nationwide Readmissions Database year 2014, IBD patients ≥ 15 years of age were identified. Outcomes analyzed were the differences in the rates of diagnosed respiratory diseases between IBD and age- and sex-matched non-IBD control groups, and between patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn disease (CD).


The IBD study cohort and the matched non-IBD control group had 87,506 patients each (mean age, 52 years; 57% females). In patients with IBD, obstructive respiratory diseases were the most prevalent (asthma, 8.6%; and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, 8.7%) followed by pleural diseases (1.9%). Compared with the non-IBD cohort, patients with IBD had a 46% higher rate of bronchiectasis, 52% higher rate of pulmonary vasculitis and interstitial pneumonia, 35% higher risk for lung nodules, 16% higher rate of pulmonary fibrosis, and a 5.5% higher rate of asthma. Among patients with IBD, patients with CD, compared with UC, had a 34% lower age/sex-adjusted risk for bronchiectasis, 56% lower risk for pulmonary vasculitis, 14% lower risk for pleural diseases, and approximately 30% higher risk for chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases.


In this large population-based cohort study, patients with IBD had higher rates of certain respiratory diseases compared with the general population without IBD, and significant differences were present between CD and UC.

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Correspondence to Gayatri Pemmasani.

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Patients with inflammatory bowel disease had higher rates of clinically diagnosed bronchiectasis, pulmonary vasculitis, interstitial pneumonia, lung nodules, pulmonary fibrosis, and asthma compared to the general population without inflammatory bowel diseases. Significant differences were present between Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis.

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Pemmasani, G., Loftus, E.V. & Tremaine, W.J. Prevalence of Pulmonary Diseases in Association with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Dig Dis Sci 67, 5187–5194 (2022).

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