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Oestrogens and Crohn’s disease: the missed link


A. M. El-Tawil, Nuffield House, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TH, UK. Tel.: +44 121 472 1311 (ext. 3199); Fax: +44 121 446 6220; E-mail:


Observational studies, sometimes, can not provide us with clear answers for very important questions. The answer for a question on whether sex hormones in general, and oestrogen in particular, play some role in inducing and development of Crohn’s disease is uncertain. Study design, inclusion criteria, and different formulations of oral contraceptives may partly explain the conflict results of the published reports. But these may be due to the divergent effects of oestrogen, which are based on dose, tissue specificity and cellular environment. This paper is aimed at examining the influence of androgens on the prognosis of Crohn’s disease.