Children with IBD face increased cancer risk — 5 insights

A study, published in BMJ, examined the correlation between childhood onset inflammatory bowel disease and cancer risk.

Ola Olén, MD, PhD, lead study author at Sweden-based Stockholm South General Hospital, and colleagues conducted a cohort study of 18,810 children with inflammatory bowel disease between 1964 and 2014. Researchers compared the patients to 92,870 general population members, matched for gender, age, birth year and country.

Researchers used the Swedish Cancer Register to note if the patients developed cancer.

Here's what they found:

1. Approximately 497 people (3.3 per 1,000 person years) with childhood onset IBD developed cancers compared to 2,256 people (1.5 per 1,000 person years) in the general population group.

2. Hazard ratios for cancer were 2.6 for ulcerative colitis and 1.7 for Crohn's disease.

3. The IBD group faced an increased risk of cancer before their 18th birthday.

4. The IBD group faced the highest hazard risk of developing gastrointestinal cancers, compared to 202 other cancers.

5. The IBD group also faced an increased risk of cancer similarly over time.

Researchers concluded, "Childhood onset inflammatory bowel disease is associated with an increased risk of any cancer, especially gastrointestinal cancers, both in childhood and later in life. The higher risk of cancer has not fallen over time."

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