Gulf War Veterans Medical Alert: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Increase Risk of Blood Clots


Medical Alert for Gulf War Veterans

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and Higher Risk For Blood Clots

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the conditions listed by VA that falls under gulf war illness.  The gulf war veterans also have a researcher at VA Minneapolis, Dr Ron Bach studying Hypercoagulation in Gulf War Illness.  So the following news article on medical research today on Blood clots and Inflammatory Bowel diseases/disorders needs to be circulated to the Gulf War Veterans and to the health care providers and researchers that are concerned about our gulf war veterans 1990-91.  The take home highlights of the article are in Bold and underlined to draw your attention to what is the most important items in the research.

Inflammatory bowel disease more than doubles the risk of a potentially fatal blood clot in the legs or lungs (VTE), reveals research published online in the journal Gut.

Inflammatory bowel disease is an umbrella term used to include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), which includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT), pulmonary embolism (PE), and superior sagittal sinus thrombosis (SSST), affects around 2 in every 1000 people in developed countries annually.

The authors compared the number of new cases of VTE arising in just under 50,000 children and adults with inflammatory bowel disease and more than 477,000 members of the general public.

The study period spanned 1980 to 2007 and took account of known VTE risk factors, such as a broken bone, cancer, surgery and pregnancy.

The results showed that the risk of VTE was twice as high in those with inflammatory bowel disease as it was in the general public.

VTE is more common in older people, irrespective of whether they have inflammatory bowel disease or not, but the risk of VTE in patients with inflammatory bowel disease was highest in younger age groups, when compared with the general public.

In those aged 20 or younger, the likelihood of a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal, was low, but it was six times as common among those with inflammatory bowel disease as it was among the general public in this age group.

Even after taking account of concurrent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, congestive heart failure, the use of  hormone replacement therapy or antipsychotic drugs, all of which are known to heighten the likelihood of VTE, the risk still remained up to 80% higher.

The findings suggest that inflammatory bowel disease may be an independent risk factor for clot formation, say the authors.


British Medical Journal


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