Inflammatory bowel disease linked to doubling in dementia risk
October 28, 2020
Research published in the journal Gut indicates that Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is linked to a more than doubling in the risk of developing dementia.
The research, undertaken in the US and Taiwan, compared cognitive health data from around 1,700 people aged 45 and above who had been diagnosed with IBS with around 17,000 people who were matched for sex, age, access to healthcare, income, and underlying conditions, but who didn’t have IBD.
During the monitoring period, a larger proportion of those with IBD developed dementia (5.5%), including Alzheimer’s disease, than those without (1.5%). Additionally, people with IBD were diagnosed with dementia an average of 7 years earlier (76) than those without IBD (83).
This was an observational study, and as such, can’t establish cause and effect. Nor were the researchers able to gather information on potentially influential lifestyle factors, such as diet and exercise, or assess the impact of anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed.
But they point to previously published research, indicating chronic inflammation and an imbalance in gut bacteria as potential contributors to cognitive decline.
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