Likelihood of Opioid Dependency If Opioid Given During an IBD Flare

According to a recent study (Full Link: MR Noureldn, PDR Higgins et al. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019;49:74–83. Incidence and predictors of new persistent opioid use following inflammatory bowel disease flares treated with oral corticosteroids), and with the limitation of using an insurance database –Key Findings:

  • 5411 (35.8%) were opioid‐naïve patients (mean age 43.9 yrs) of which 35.0% developed persistent opioid use after the flare
  • Factors associated with new persistent opioid use include a history of depression (hazard ratio [HR] 1.29, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.13‐1.47), substance abuse (HR 1.36, 95% CI 1.2‐1.54), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (HR 1.17, 95% CI 1.04‐1.3), as well as, Crohn’s disease (HR 1.26, 95% CI 1.14‐1.4) or indeterminate colitis (HR 1.6, 95% CI 1.36‐1.88)

My take: As noted in previous blog (Increased Narcotic Usage in Pediatric Patients with IBD), opioid usage is an issue with pediatric IBD patients as well, particularly in those with associated depression and/or anxiety.

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Childhood Obesity: It is NOT Getting Better

A recent study (AC Skinner et al. Pediatrics 2018; 141: e20173459) examined obesity prevalence data in children 2-19 years of age from a nationally representative sample (n=3340).  Specifically, the authors used NHANES data from 1999-2016. Thanks to John Pohl’s twitter feed for pointing out this reference.

PDF Link: Prevalence of Obesity and Severe Obesity in US Children, 1999-2016

This article is packed with data and breaks down obesity in categories: overweight, class I obesity, class II obesity & class III obesity.  It provides data based on gender, age, and ethnicity.

The trend in obesity prevalence is best captured in Figure 1.

Among girls:

  • In 1999-2000: class I obesity noted in 14.6% –>17.8% in 2015-16
  • In 1999-2000: class II obesity noted in 4.0% –>5.2% in 2015-16
  • In 1999-2000: class III obesity noted in 0.9% –>1.8% in 2015-16

Among boys:

  • In 1999-2000: class I obesity noted in 14.7% –>19.1% in 2015-16
  • In 1999-2000: class II obesity noted in 4.1% –>6.7% in 2015-16
  • In 1999-2000: class II obesity noted in 1.0% –>2.0% in 2015-16

My take: This article indicates that the prevalence of childhood obesity in the U.S. is not improving and does not appear to have leveled off as has been suggested by some studies.

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Latiglutenase Not Effective for Celiac Disease, Plus One

A recent study (JA Murray et al. Gastroenterol 2017; 152: 787-98) examined the effectiveness of  latiglutenase for celiac disease.  Latiglutenase (aka ALV003) is an oral medicine which is a mixture of two recombinant gluten-targeting proteases.

The concept of latigluenase is that a medicine that degrades the gluten protein could obviate the need for a gluten free diet.  Unfortunately, in this study with 494 patients with celiac disease for at least 1 year, the medicine at various doses for 12 to 24 weeks was ineffective. There was no difference between the medicine and placebo with regard to villous height:crypt depth ratio, number of intraepithelial lymphocytes or serologic markers of celiac disease.  Symptom scores increased in both the active treatment group and the placebo group.  While this was a negative study, the authors did note some effect on symptom domains on higher dosing regimens. “This observation suggests that treatment with latiglutenase may affect symptoms before showing clinically meaningful effects on serologic and histologic end points.

A second study (RS Choung et al. Gastroenterol 2017; 152: 830-9) examined prevalence and morbidity of undiagnosed celiac disease in Olmstead County. After excluding patients with celiac disease, sera from 30,425 adults and 830 children were tested for tissue transglutaminase IgA antibody (tTG)  and endomysial antibody (EMA).  Case definition: patients were considered to have celiac serologically if tTG titer was 2.0 U/mL or greater with a positive EMA. The prevalence of celiac disease was 1.1% in adults and 1.0% in children. The majority of patients with celiac disease (>80%) have not received the diagnosis.  By comparing those with positive celiac serology to matched controls (2 controls for each positive), the authors determined that undiagnosed celiac disease was associated with increased rates of hypothyroidism (OR 2.2) but no other significant morbidities.  Median followup period was 6.3 years.

My take: A promising new therapy for celiac disease, latiglutenase, looks like it will not be effective and there are a lot of individuals with celiac disease who are unaware of their diagnosis.

Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

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Eosinophilic Esophagitis Review -NEJM

Good review:  Glenn T. Furuta, M.D., and David A. Katzka, M.D. N Engl J Med 2015; 373:1640-1648

A couple pointers from this review:

  • Estimated prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) 0.4% in Western countries.  Symptoms are often underestimated due to patient ‘accommodation’ which includes eating slowly/carefully, drinking a lot of liquids and avoiding items more prone to become lodged (meats, pills, breads)
  • Pathogenesis: “Birth by cesarean section, premature delivery, antibiotic exposure during infancy, food allergy, lack of breast-feeding, and living in an area of lower population density have all been associated with eosinophilic esophagitis.”
  • Impaired barrier function and enhanced the activity play a role in pathogenesis
  • Food allergy is a non-IgE-mediated process.  Omalizumab, an anti-IgE biologic, is ineffective in EoE and EoE can develop in IgE-null mice
  • Male predominance (3:1) suggests that there is a genetic component.
Esophagus with ringed appearance, furrowing, and loss of vascular markings

Esophagus with ringed appearance, furrowing, and loss of vascular markings

Another useful reference on Eosinophilic Gastritis in Children: Am J Gastroenterol 2014; 109; 1277-85.  This article provides data on clinical and histologic remission with eosinophilic gastritis (>70 eos/hpf), n=30 children.  “Response to dietary restriction was high” (82% clinical, 78% histologic response) Thanks to Seth Marcus for this reference.

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Milder Celiac Disease Being Diagnosed Now

A study (Kivela L et al. J Pediatr 2015; 167: 1109-15) over a period of 48 years from Finland provides some hard data regarding the changing presentation of celiac disease.

Here are the key points;

  • Age at diagnosis has increased from a median of 4.3 years before 1980 to 7.6 years and 9.0 years in later periods.
  • Poor growth has decreased.  Among the 46 children diagnosed prior to 1980, poor growth occurred in 66% whereas 2010-2013: 23% had poor growth (had 14% were overweight or obese)
  • Severity of small-bowel mucosal damage was milder (Figure 1 D).  Among those with gastrointestinal presentation, total villous atrophy also declined from “61-62% to 18-22% (P=.001).”

Why is the presentation changing? There are increased “proportions of screen-detected and asymptomatic children…[this has] increased over 6-fold and simultaneously gastrointestinal symptoms …decreased.”  While there are improved diagnostic methods and increased knowledge, there has also been a “well-defined increase in the true prevalence of celiac disease.”

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IBD in Ontario: 1 in 200

A recent study notes an increasing incidence of and high prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Ontario, Canada (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 1761-69).

This article notes that between 1999-2008, there was an increased incidence of IBD from 21.3 to 26.2 per 100,000.  This affected most age groups less than 65 years, but increased most rapidly in children younger than 10 years (increased 9.7% per year).  The highest incidence remained in adults aged 20 to 29 years. The overall prevalence in Ontario was estimated to be 1 in 200 overall, which is among the highest in the world.  This study relied on a validated health administrative data consisting of all Ontario residents.

The potential for misclassification bias is discussed and the potential difficulties with administrative health data is detailed in three related editorials (pages 1777-79, 1780-81, 182-83).  The editorials are helpful, in part, because a separate study in the same journal (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2014; 20: 1770-76) indicates that the incidence of Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis declined in Quebec between 2001-08. However, the authors of this study used less-rigorous methods and had a much shorter “washout” period (two years versus eight years).

At the end of the day, with conflicting studies, there remains some uncertainty with regard to IBD epidemiology.  That being said, the first study notes that “75% of CD studies and 60% of UC studies had reported increased incidence in the adult populations.”

This leads back to the question of what environmental exposures are leading to these changes in incidence.

Bottomline: This article and the associated editorials helps highlight the difficulties of using administrative health data and why many data points are needed to assess the epidemiology of IBD.  In all likelihood, the incidence of IBD is increasing.

Related blog postGlobal increases in IBD incidence | gutsandgrowth


How Common is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

There have been numerous epidemiologic studies regarding eosinophilic esophagitis.  A recent summary of a recent study (Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2014; 12: 589-96) has been posted on the AGA Journals Blog.  Here’s the link to the full summary:  EoE Prevalence AGA Journal Blog

Here’s an excerpt:

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), which was barely recognized 20 years ago, affects at least 150,000 people in the United States, with three-quarters being adults, report Evan Dellon et al. in the April issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

EoE, also known as allergic esophagitis, is an allergic inflammatory disease characterized by increased numbers eosinophils in the esophagus. Symptoms include difficulty swallowing, food impaction, and heartburn…

They found that despite its relatively recent description, EoE is frequently diagnosed in the US, with an estimated prevalence of 56.7/100,000 persons. The mean age of patients, surprisingly, was 33.5 years; 65% were male, 55.8% had dysphagia, and 52.8% had at least 1 other allergic condition. Prevalence peaked in men 35–39 years old (see figure).

EoE Prevalence by Age

Dellon et al. identified patients based on the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), 9th revision code for EoE (530.13). They state that this prevalence could be an underestimate, because knowledge of the code and recognition of EoE are increasing…

Take home point: This study shows that EoE in adults and in children is much more common in males than females, especially in those with other allergic diseases.  Given the frequency of those with mild symptoms, the prevalence data are likely to be huge underestimates.

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Only in Kids: Allergies Vary by Region

From the NIH:  link to full article:

An excerpt (highlighted for emphasis):

In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to  examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists  from the National Institutes of Health report that allergy prevalence is the  same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years  and younger.

“Before this study, if you would have asked 10 allergy  specialists if allergy prevalence varied depending on where people live, all 10 of them would have said yes, because allergen  exposures tend to be more common in certain regions of the U.S.,” said Darryl  Zeldin, M.D., scientific director of the National Institute of Environmental  Health Sciences (NIEHS), part of NIH. “This study suggests that people prone to  developing allergies are going to develop an allergy to whatever is in their  environment. It’s what people become allergic to that differs.”

The research appeared online in February in the Journal of  Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and is the result of analyses performed on  blood serum data compiled from approximately 10,000 Americans in the National  Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2005-2006.

… Among children  aged 1-5, those from the southern U.S. displayed a higher prevalence of  allergies than their peers living in other U.S. regions. ..

“The higher allergy prevalence among the youngest children  in southern states seemed to be attributable to dust mites and cockroaches,”  explained Paivi Salo, Ph.D., an epidemiologist in Zeldin’s research group and  lead author on the paper. “As children get older, both indoor and outdoor  allergies become more common, and the difference in the overall prevalence of  allergies fades away.”

The NHANES 2005-2006 not only tested a greater number of  allergens across a wider age range than prior NHANES studies, but also provided  quantitative information on the extent of allergic sensitization. The survey  analyzed serum for nine different antibodies in children aged 1-5, and nineteen  different antibodies in subjects 6 years and older. Previous NHANES studies used skin prick tests to test for allergies.

The scientists determined risk factors that made a person  more likely to be allergic. The study found that in the 6 years and older  group, males, non-Hispanic blacks, and those who avoided pets had an increased  chance of having allergen-specific IgE antibodies, the common hallmark of  allergies.

Socioeconomic status (SES) did not predict allergies, but  people in higher SES groups were more commonly allergic to dogs and cats,  whereas those in lower SES groups were more commonly allergic to shrimp and  cockroaches.

Why are we seeing so many more cases

In this month’s Gastroenterology, two articles offer some insight into this question for two separate problems.

With regard to inflammatory bowel disease, (IBD) –both Crohn’s disease and UC –there is an increasing prevalence and incidence worldwide (Gastroenterology 2012; 142: 46-54). This article identified 8444 previous citations and then identified 262 studies with relevant data.  Overall, the highest incidence and prevalence of these disorders occurs in Europe and North America.  In North America, Canada has the highest prevalence with 0.6% of the population having IBD.

After going through the statistics, the authors offer some discussion on why IBD is increasing.  In the developing parts of the world, some of the increase is due to the ability to detect and differentiate these disorders due to improving access to medical care/colonoscopy.  In the areas of the world with the highest incidence/prevalence, environmental risk factors are playing an important role.  Potential factors include microbial exposures, sanitation, lifestyle behaviors, medications, and pollution.  These factors are supported by other epidemiological studies which show that individuals who move from low prevalence areas to higher ones are at increased risk for IBD, especially among first generation children (Gut 2008; 57: 1185-91).  Furthermore, in low prevalence regions, IBD is increasing with more industrialization (Chin J Dig Dis 2005; 6: 175-81, Indian J Gastroenterol 2005; 24: 23-24.)  Exact mechanisms are poorly understood; however, even in the U.S. it is recognized that rural/farm exposure at a young age reduces the likelihood of developing IBD at a later age (Pediatrics 2007; 120: 354).

Celiac disease, likewise, has seen an increase in prevalence.  With celiac disease, the proliferation of widely available and more accurate serology has been crucial in the identification of more patients.  However, like IBD, there is likely a role for changing microbial environment contributing to an increasing case burden.  Recently, reports have shown that the risk of celiac disease can be influenced at birth (Gastroenterology 2012; 142: 39-45).  Although the absolute risk was modest, there was an increased risk demonstrated with elective but not emergent cesarean delivery among a large nationwide case-control study from Sweden.  Among the cohort of 11,749 offspring with biopsy-proven celiac (with matched control group of 53,887), elective cesarean delivery resulted in an odds ratio of 1.15 (confidence intervals 1.04-1.26).  This study confirmed other studies which have shown an increased risk with cesarean delivery (Pediatrics 2010; 125: e1433-e1440).  Some of the strengths of this Swedish study, included the fact that the deliveries were separated based on elective or emergency cesarean delivery and were controlled for whether the mother had celiac disease.  (Pregnant women with celiac disease have an increased risk of cesarean delivery.)  The authors speculate that the reason why elective cesarean deliveries increase the risk of celiac disease is that microbial exposures at birth likely influences perinatal colonization –>affects intestinal immune response and mucosal barrier function. Offspring of women with emergency cesarean delivery would be more likely to be exposed to bacteria from the birth canal and no significant increase risk of celiac disease could be identified in this group.

Thus how we are born and where we live make a big impact on the likelihood of developing these GI disorders.

Additional References:

  • -Gut 2011; 60: 49-54. n=577,627 Danish children. Use of antibiotics associated with increase risk of Crohn’s disease (but not UC), especially at younger ages (3-11month of age, & 2-3yrs of age). Each course increased risk by 18%. In children with >7 courses, relative risk was 7.3. especially penicillins.
  • -NEJM 2011; 364: 701, 769. Living on a farm decreases risk of childhood asthma.
  • -Nature 2011; 476: 393. ‘Stop killing beneficial bacteria.’  For example, killing H pylori likely increases risk of esophageal adenocarcinoma
  • -Gastroenterology 2011; 141: 28, 208. GM-CSF receptor (CD116) defective expression & function in 85% of IBD pts. n=52.
  • -Gastroenterology 2010; 139: 1816, 1844. Microbiome & affect on IBD vs mucosal homeostasis
  • -J Pediatr 2010; 157: 240. Microbiota in pediatric IBD -increased E coli and decreased F praunsitzil in IBD pts.
  • -J Pediatr 2009; 155: 781. early child care exposures lessens risk for asthma.
  • -IBD 2008; 14: 575.  Role of E coli in Crohn’s
  • -Lab Invest 2007; 87: 1042-1054. Role of E coli in Crohn’s
  • -Pediatrics 2007; 120: 354. Crohn’s less common after repeated exposure to farm animals in 1st year of life.

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