Environmental Factors Associated with Risk of Crohn's Disease Development in the Crohn's and Colitis Canada - Genetic, Environmental, Microbial Project

CCC GEM Project Research Consortium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background & Aims: To date, it is unclear how environmental factors influence Crohn's disease (CD) risk and how they interact with biological processes. This study investigates the association between environmental exposures and CD risk and evaluates their association with pre-disease biomarkers. Methods: We studied 4289 healthy first-degree relatives (FDRs) of patients with CD from the Crohn's and Colitis Canada - Genetic, Environmental, Microbial (CCC-GEM) project. Regression models identified environmental factors associated with future CD onset and their association with pre-disease biological factors, including altered intestinal permeability measured by urinary fractional excretion of lactulose to mannitol ratio (LMR); gut inflammation via fecal calprotectin (FCP) levels; and fecal microbiome composition through 16S rRNA sequencing. Results: Over a 5.62-year median follow-up, 86 FDRs developed CD. Living with a dog between ages 5 and 15 (hazard ratio [HR], 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.40–0.96; P = .034), and living with a large family size in the first year of life (HR, 0.43; 95% CI, 0.21–0.85; P = .016) were associated with decreased CD risk, whereas having a bird at the time of recruitment (HR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.36–5.68; P = .005) was associated with an increased CD risk. Furthermore, living with a dog was associated with reduced LMR, altered relative abundance of multiple bacterial genera, and increased Chao1 diversity, whereas bird owners had higher FCP levels. Large family during participants’ first year of life was associated with altered microbiota composition without affecting FCP or LMR. Conclusion: This study identifies environmental variables associated with CD risk. These variables were also associated with altered barrier function, subclinical inflammation, and gut microbiome composition shifts, suggesting potential roles in CD pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 AGA Institute

Keywords

  • Crohn's Disease
  • Environmental Factors
  • Gut Inflammation
  • Gut Microbiome
  • Intestinal Permeability

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