People with IBD Have More Chronic Diseases

Adults with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more likely to have other chronic diseases than adults without IBD. Learn what chronic diseases adults with IBD are more likely to have.

What is IBD?

An estimated 3.1 million adults (1.3%) in the United States have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD),1 which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It is a broad term that indicates chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (see diagram).

Woman holding her stomach in pain talking to doctor.

Chronic Conditions Among Adults with IBD

  • New findings from a CDC study using data from the 2015 and 2016 National Health Interview Survey show that adults with IBD are more likely to have other chronic conditions than those without IBD.1
  • Nearly all of the chronic conditions included in the study were more common among adults with IBD than among adults without IBD (see graph). Diabetes was the only chronic condition that was not significantly different between these two groups.
Chart of percentage* of adults with chronic conditions among adults with and without IBD — United States, 2015 and 2016. Adults with IBD were approximately twice as likely to have other chronic conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, cancer, arthritits, kidney disease, and liver disease. Those with IBD were only slightly more likely to have diabetes, but approximately four times more likely to have ulcers.

Percentage* of adults with chronic conditions among adults with and without IBD — United States, 2015 and 2016.

* Age-adjusted to the 2000 U.S. projected population.

Implications for Patients and Clinicians

  • For Patients: Talk with your doctor about your health concerns and overall wellness.
  • For Clinicians: Adults with IBD may need care from several types of health care providers. Also be aware that some health-risk behaviors (e.g., sleeping <7 hours a day) are more common among adults with IBD.1
Image shows a human digestive system, labeled

Inflammatory bowel disease involves inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

Photo of a doctor handing paperwork to a patient.

Because many chronic conditions are more common among adults with IBD, disease management might involve clinical care from several types of health care providers.

More Information
References
  1. Xu F, Dahlhamer JM, Zammitti EP, et al. Health-risk Behaviors and Chronic Conditions Among Adults with Inflammatory Bowel Disease — United States, 2015 and 2016. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(6):190-195.