What’s the difference between IBS and IBD? IBS is a disorder of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. IBD is inflammation or destruction of the bowel wall, which can lead to sores and narrowing of the intestines.
An association between hematological cancers and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has previously been suggested, but the risk of IBD in patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) is unknown. We conducted a nationwide population-based cohort study using Danish registries, to estimate the risk of IBD in individuals diagnosed with essential thrombocythemia, polycythemia vera, myelofibrosis or unclassifiable MPN during 1994–2013. MPN patients were matched 1:10 with sex- and age-matched comparisons. Everyone was followed until a diagnosis of IBD, death/emigration, or 31 December 2013. The risk of IBD overall and according to MPN subtype was calculated using Cox regression and presented as hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Of 8207 MPN patients followed for 45,232 person-years, 80 were diagnosed with IBD (61 ulcerative colitis, 19 Crohn’s disease). The rate of IBD per 1000 person-years was 1.8 (95% CI:1.4–2.2) in patients vs. 0.8 (95% CI:0.7–0.8) in comparisons, and the absolute 10-year risk of IBD was 0.8% (95% CI:0.6–1.0) in patients vs. 0.4% (95% CI:0.4–0.5) in comparisons. The HR of IBD was 2.4 (95% CI:2.1–2.9) with similar HRs for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. MPN subtype risks varied from 2.1 (95% CI:1.6–2.7) to 2.8 (95% CI:2.1–3.7).
Our unselected cohort study showed a more than 2-fold increased risk of IBD in MPN patients. Up to 50% of MPN patients experience gastrointestinal symptoms.