American, British, Swedish and German researchers have found that maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent 60% of inflammatory bowel disease.
The international study, published online in the journal Gut and reported by York Alert, found that adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can prevent up to 60% of cases of inflammatory bowel disease. such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The results prompted the researchers of this study to suggest that lifestyle change could be a possible option for future prevention strategies, especially for people more susceptible to inflammatory bowel disease, given the need to continue research on this subject.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects approximately 3 million people in the United States and 1.3 million in Europe, and diagnosed cases are on the rise, particularly in newly industrialized countries.
the style of life
Previously published research has linked IBD risk to several lifestyle factors, but it was unclear whether adopting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle could reduce the risk of developing IBD. disease in the first place.
To find out, the researchers in this study relied on data from participants in the Nurses’ Health Study One and Two (NHS) and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS) in the United States.These studies are among the most distinguished among epidemiological studies. .long-term.
The first Nurses’ Health Study recorded data on 121,700 nurses between the ages of 30 and 55 in 11 US states in 1976, while in the second study, which was conducted in 1989, 116,429 nurses (aged 25 at age 42) from 15 states were being monitored.
In contrast, the Health Professional Follow-up Study included 51,529 physicians between the ages of 40 and 75 across the United States in 1986.
The researchers created an adjustable risk score (MRS) for each participant based on specific modifiable risk factors for IBD to estimate the proportion of cases that could have been prevented. Modifiable risk ranged from 0 to 6, with higher scores indicating serious risk. .
Risk factors included weight (body mass index), smoking, use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), physical activity, and daily consumption of fruits, fiber, vegetables, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and red meat.
The researchers compiled the proportion of cases that could be prevented if an overall healthy lifestyle was adopted and maintained. Each participant was assigned scores from 0 to 9, with higher scores indicating a healthier lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle includes the following elements:
- A body mass index between 18.5 and 25
- Engage in physical activity for a period of at least 7.5 hours per week
- Consume at least 8 daily servings of fruits and vegetables (one serving of fruit equals one medium-sized fruit and one serving of vegetables equals half a cooked cup or one fresh cup)
- Consume less than half of the daily ration of red meat (a portion of meat is equivalent to 80 grams)
- Consume at least 25 grams of fiber daily with at least two weekly servings of fish (one serving of fish equals 140 grams)
- Eat at least half of your daily serving of nuts.
During the observation period, 346 cases of Crohn’s disease and 456 cases of ulcerative colitis were reported.
Based on the results of the adjustable risk scores, the researchers estimated that having lower risk scores could have prevented 43% of Crohn’s disease cases and 44.5% of ulcerative colitis cases, and the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle could prevent 61% of Crohn’s disease cases and 42% of ulcerative colitis cases.
The development of inflammatory bowel diseases
To validate their results, the researchers applied the scoring system to data from 3 large European studies: the Swedish X-ray cohort (37,275 participants), the Swedish men’s cohort (40,810 participants) and the European prospective survey on cancer and nutrition (404,000 participants) . and 144 attendees).
Researchers acknowledge that the average age at which IBD was diagnosed was older than normal and that early lifestyle factors that may have an impact, such as breastfeeding, antibiotic prescription, stress and environmental factors such as pollution have not been taken into account. social and economic factors.
“The main hypothesis of our results is that the relationship between lifestyle factors and the development of IBD is causal,” the researchers wrote. “Although not yet proven, there is ample evidence supporting the critical role of environmental and lifestyle factors in the development of IBD.”
They added: “Lifestyle modification may be an attractive goal for future IBD prevention strategies, and this issue may also be closely related to groups most at risk of developing the disease, such as first-time parents. degree of patients with IBD, whose risk of developing the disease is estimated to be between 2 and 17% during their lifetime.
Inflammatory bowel disease
According to the Mayo Clinic, inflammatory bowel disease is a term for disorders that involve persistent (chronic) inflammation of the tissues of the intestine, including:
- Ulcerative colitis, which includes inflammation and sores along the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
- Crohn’s disease, which is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the gastrointestinal tract, often involving the deeper layers of it, and the small intestine is most affected by the disease.
- Aches and painful cramps in the abdomen
- blood in stool
- Unintentional weight loss.
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