University Hospitals researchers uncover link between heart attacks and inflammatory bowel disease

Monday, March 05, 2018
CLEVELAND – University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute researchers Muhammad Panhwar, MD, and Mahazarin Ginwalla, MD, recently concluded a study of more than 22 million patients that suggests a strong connection between Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and the development of heart disease and heart attacks.
 
The study, “Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Patient with Inflammatory Bowel Disease,” was unveiled at this year’s American College of Cardiology meeting in Orlando, Fla. The study was one of five featured at the meeting.
 
Inflammation has long been recognized as playing a key role in the development of heart disease. IBD is an umbrella term for two chronic inflammatory conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract - Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that nearly 3 million Americans have IBD, with 70,000 new cases emerging every year. While studies have shown a clear increased risk of heart disease in other chronic inflammatory conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, this link is unclear in patients with IBD.

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