Many patients are unaware of the fact that smoking can increase the risk for certain common inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), finds a new study.
The two common types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. The study states that out of 239 patients with these common types of IBD, only half were aware of the smoking risks associated with the diseases.
"The take-home message for patients with IBD is that smoking can affect their disease," lead study author Dr. Stephanie Ducharme-Benard of the University of Montreal Hospital Center.
Researchers have linked smoking to an increased risk of Crohn's disease and its complications. However, they have also suggested that smokers are at lower risk for ulcerative colitis.
IBD involves chronic or recurring inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. People with Crohn's disease have inflammation throughout the entire digestive tract, while in ulcerative colitis, only the large intestine is inflamed.