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Inflammatory bowel disease linked to increased risk of blood clots

Category: Coagulation and blood clotting disorders

According to a new study, patients suffering from active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are much more likely to develop life-threatening blood clots than are people without the condition.

British researchers compared data of 13,756 patients with IBD against 71,672 control subjects without the disease. Over a 14 year period, more than 300 participants developed a blood clot.

In the study, people with an IBD flare-up were 8 times more likely to develop a blood clot than were members of the control group. The risk rose to 16 times higher if the flare occurred when the patient was not hospitalized, Health Day reports.

"We believe that the medical profession needs to recognize the increased risk in people with inflammatory bowel disease when assessing the likelihood of [blood clots] and to address the difficulty of reducing this risk in patients with a flare who are not admitted to hospital," said lead researcher Matthew Grainge, of the University of Nottingham.

The study's authors acknowledged that the research excluded patients likely to have received corticosteroids for rheumatoid arthritis and chronic respiratory disease, meaning the findings do not include blood clotting rates for those groups.

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