Depressive feelings and thoughts are linked to increased exacerbations in patients with Crohn’s disease, according to research presented at Digestive Disease Week in Chicago, IL.

Data from Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (CCFA) Partners, an Internet-based stud of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), was used. Approximately 3,150 adult patients completed surveys providing information on their disease, treatment, and its impact on their lives. Patients were followed up for 1 year to discover possible connections between depressive feelings and thoughts and elevated disease activity.

RELATED: Crohn’s Disease: Does it Increase Cancer Risk?

Specifically, in patients with higher scores for depressive thoughts and feelings, the proportion of patients having higher disease activity scores was 50% higher than those with lower depression scores. In patients with low depression scores risk, the proportion having elevated activity was about 25% higher than those with no depressive thoughts or feelings. With adjustments for other potential risk factors, the link between depression and Crohn’s disease activity remained significant.

Results from this study provide the evidence that depression-related thoughts and feelings are associated with the likelihood of elevated Crohn’s disease activity one year later. Earlier large-scale studies have also suggested that depression may impact the course and severity of Crohn’s disease.

For more information call (301) 272-0022 or visit