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Ital J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Jun;30(3):247-51.

Preillness non dietary factors and habits in inflammatory bowel disease.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Tel-Aviv Sourasky Medical Centre, Israel.



Environmental as well as genetic factors play a role in the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel diseases. The effects of smoking and diet have been demonstrated. Other factors have not been extensively investigated.


Preillness non dietary habits and factors were studied in 88 patients with recent onset of inflammatory bowel diseases (55 with ulcerative colitis and 33 with Crohn's disease) and in matched 76 population and 68 clinic controls.


No significant differences were found in relation to education, housing, birth weight, breast feeding in infancy and current weight. The current body mass index was significantly lower in patients as compared to clinic controls (p < 0.05). More patients had low levels of physical activity during the preillness period as compared to controls (p < 0.001 vs clinic controls), while more controls engaged in moderate (p < 0.05) or high levels of physical activity in the corresponding periods. Patients spent fewer hours in strenuous physical activity as compared to controls (NS). Patients slept fewer hours per day (p < 0.05 vs clinic controls). More patients than controls experienced stressful life events during the year prior to onset of symptoms (p < 0.05 for patients with Crohn's disease against both controls and all patients vs population controls).


Other environmental factors besides smoking and diet may affect the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease.

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