How clear is the link between Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

How clear is the link between Hidradenitis Suppurativa and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

February 19, 2021

Prior studies had variable results

Hidradenitis suppurativa (HS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are caused by similar genes. Also, microscopically, the inflammation they cause have a similar appearance.  Some research studies showed the HS and IBD are more likely to happen together, but two other studies did not show a link between them. The goal of this study was to combine all of the best studies and try to clear up whether there is a link between HS and IBD.

More precise results come from making studies come together

The researchers combined all of the prior research on the relationship between HS and IBD. They included two cross-sectional studies, five case-control studies and one cohort study, with a total of 93,601 individuals with HS.

What’s the link between HS and IBD?

The analysis showed that people with HS are more likely to have IBD: People with HS are about 2x more likely to have Crohns and 1.5 times more likely to have ulcerative colitis (compared to people who don’t have HS).

What can we do with the results?

The results of this study are useful because it means that people with HS and providers should be aware of the symptoms of IBD, so they can get the best care. The first step to checking for IBD is to think about whether someone has symptoms, like diarrhea, red blood or black tarry blood in your stool, and belly pain. If you are having symptoms like this, your provider may order blood or stool tests to see if there are signs of IBD and rule out other causes.

Paper Citation: Chen, Wei-Ti; Chi,Ching-Chi. JAMA Dermatol. 2019;155(9):1022-1027

Photo by felipepelaquim on Unsplash