IBD Sufferers Have Higher Risk of a Heart Attack

Janet Tiberian Author
By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
June 15, 2023
IBD Raises Your Heart Attack Risk

Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a 23 percent higher chance of having a heart attack than patients with normal guts, according to a study presented at an American College of Cardiology meeting.

IBD is an umbrella term for conditions that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The most common types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis disease. 

“IBD is a serious, potentially life-threatening condition that affects about 1.6 million Americans,” says Bernard Kaminetsky, MD, medical director, MDVIP. “Most people are diagnosed before age 35. By in large, the younger you are at the time of your diagnosis, the more aggressive your condition is and the more inflammation it causes.”  

Since inflammation is a factor in both IBD and cardiovascular disease, researchers studied the connection between the two diseases and found that IBD raises the risk for cardiovascular conditions. And now, researchers from University Hospitals Harrington Heart & Vascular Institute have further defined the risk.

More than 22 million heart attack patients were assessed over three years using electronic medical records from 26 healthcare systems across the country. Results showed IBD patients had: 

  • A higher prevalence of cardiovascular disease risk factors -- high blood pressure, smoking and diabetes – compared to patients without IBD. 
  • Twice the likelihood of having a heart attack. 
  • A higher risk for a heart attack if they were under age 40.  
  • A 23 percent higher risk for a heart attack compared to people without IBD.  

“This is one reason MDVIP focuses on inflammation as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Many chronic inflammatory conditions such as IBD, wear on your cardiovascular system, raising your risk for a heart attack,” Kaminetsky says.

If you’re concerned about IBD and heart disease or inflammation in general, talk to you MDVIP-affiliated doctor. Looking for a primary care physician? Physicians in MDVIP-affiliated practices can customize a wellness plan for you that includes helping prevent and control cardiovascular disease. Find an MDVIP affiliate near you and begin your partnership in health »

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About the Author
Janet Tiberian Author
Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES

Janet Tiberian is MDVIP's health educator. She has more than 25 years experience in chronic disease prevention and therapeutic exercise.

View All Posts By Janet Tiberian, MA, MPH, CHES
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