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Does vitamin D keep Crohn’s patients out of the hospital?

Posted on: June 15, 2013   by  Brant Cebulla

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New research published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease reports that higher vitamin D status is associated with a decreased risk of hospitalization and surgery for patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases, both characterized by extreme gastrointestinal problems and discomfort. Almost two-thirds of patients with Crohn’s and one-fifth of those with ulcerative colitis will eventually require surgery for management of their disease. Many patients with inflammatory bowel diseases will require hospitalization at some point for issues related to their disease.

To date, cross-sectional studies have found an association between low vitamin D levels and increased disease activity in Crohn’s. There has also been a randomized controlled trial that has shown that vitamin D supplementation can lower the rate of relapse (when disease activity flares-up).

In this study, Dr. Ashwin N. Ananthakrishnan and colleagues wanted to know if vitamin D modified the risk of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis patients needing surgery or hospitalization.

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