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PLoS One. 2009;4(1):e4288. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0004288. Epub 2009 Jan 29.

Crohn's disease and early exposure to domestic refrigeration.

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1
Digestive Disease Research Center, Medical Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Environmental risk factors playing a causative role in Crohn's Disease (CD) remain largely unknown. Recently, it has been suggested that refrigerated food could be involved in disease development. We thus conducted a pilot case control study to explore the association of CD with the exposure to domestic refrigeration in childhood.

METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS:

Using a standard questionnaire we interviewed 199 CD cases and 207 age-matched patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as controls. Cases and controls were followed by the same gastroenterologists of tertiary referral clinics in Tehran, Iran. The questionnaire focused on the date of the first acquisition of home refrigerator and freezer. Data were analysed by a multivariate logistic model. The current age was in average 34 years in CD cases and the percentage of females in the case and control groups were respectively 48.3% and 63.7%. Patients were exposed earlier than controls to the refrigerator (X2 = 9.9, df = 3, P = 0.04) and refrigerator exposure at birth was found to be a risk factor for CD (OR = 2.08 (95% CI: 1.01-4.29), P = 0.05). Comparable results were obtained looking for the exposure to freezer at home. Finally, among the other recorded items reflecting the hygiene and comfort at home, we also found personal television, car and washing machine associated with CD.

CONCLUSION:

This study supports the opinion that CD is associated with exposure to domestic refrigeration, among other household factors, during childhood.

PMID:
19177167
PMCID:
PMC2629547
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0004288
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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