No one knows why some people develop inflammatory bowel disease, a condition in which the immune system attacks the intestines. This includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and causes significant disability. Danish investigators report a link between infections with bacteria such as Salmonella or Campylobacter and an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease later. They examined the hospital records of 13,000 people with bacterial diarrhea and 26,000 uninfected people. Over the next 7½ years, more than twice as many of those who had suffered a gastrointestinal infection were diagnosed with chronic inflammatory bowel disease. The risk was highest in the first year, but persisted even after 15 years.
[Gastroenterology, Aug. 2009]http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(09)00524-1/abstract