RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can be a difficult burden; now it seems that it's also a cue to pay closer attention to risks for dangerous blood clots. A team of British researchers reports that those with active IBD (also known as a "flare-up") are up to 16 times more likely to suffer a potentially life-threatening blood clot than those in the general population. The researchers who led the study believe the increased blood clot risk may derive from the increased inflammation and rate of infection among IBD patients. The two common forms of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which may cause pain, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and intestinal bleeding.
THE DETAILS: As reported in The Lancet, the British study evaluated blood clot risk in 13,756 patients with IBD, along with a matched control group of 71,672 people without the disease. Of these, 139 people from the IBD group developed blood clots, compared to just 165 from the much larger control group. Overall, blood clot risk was about three times higher for the IBD group, but increased sharply to eight times greater for those with active IBD disease.
Read to see advice for anyone concerned about blood clots.