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Keywords:

  • microscopic colitis;
  • collagenous colitis;
  • lymphocytic colitis;
  • smoking

Abstract

Background:

Cigarette smoking is an important environmental factor affecting inflammatory bowel disease. The role of smoking has not been rigorously studied in microscopic colitis (MC). The aim of this study was to compare the association of cigarette smoking in individuals with MC compared to a control population without MC.

Methods:

We reviewed the records of patients with a clinical and histologic diagnosis of collagenous colitis (CC) or lymphocytic colitis (LC). Clinical history, including alcohol and smoking status at the time of diagnosis of MC, were reviewed. In this case–control study, age- and gender-matched patients without diarrhea presenting for outpatient colonoscopy served as the control population.

Results:

We analyzed a total of 340 patients with MC: 124 with CC and 216 with LC. Overall, any smoking status (former or current) was associated with MC (odds ratio [OR] 2.12, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.56–2.88). This risk was more prominent in current smokers (adjusted OR 5.36, 3.81, and 4.37 for CC, LC, and all MC, respectively, 95% CI all greater than 1). The association of smoking was not significantly affected by gender or average alcohol consumption.

Conclusions:

In our study population, cigarette smoking is a risk factor for the development of both forms of microscopic colitis. There were no significant differences between LC and CC, and current smoking and the development of microscopic colitis affected men and women similarly. We feel that these data are sufficient to discuss the potential risks of tobacco use in patients with microscopic colitis. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2012)