Statins may offer a protective effect against new-onset irritable bowel disease (IBD), Crohn’s disease (CD), and ulcerative colitis (UC), according to a study published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology

Earlier studies have suggested that medication exposures may be tied to new-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Researchers conducted a retrospective matched case-control study to determine the effect of statins on the risk of new-onset IBD in a large U.S. health claims database. Patients aged ≥18 years with ICD-9 codes for CD or UC between January 2008–December 2012 were included. Patients diagnosed with IBD in 2012 were compared with age-, gender-, race-, and geographically-matched controls. 

Related Articles

New-onset IBD patients were defined as having ≥3 separate CD or UC ICD-9 codes and no IBD-related ICD-9 or prescription before first IBD ICD-9. 

For the analysis, a total of 9,617 cases and 46,665 controls were included. Any statin exposure was associated with a significantly decreased risk of IBD (odds ratio [OR] 0.68, 95% CI: 0.64–0.72), CD (OR 0.64, 95% CI: 0.59–0.71), and UC (OR 0.70, 95% CI: 0.65–0.76). This decreased risk was consistent for most statins despite the intensity of therapy. The effect against new-onset CD was most pronounced among older patients. 

The association with statin use and a reduced risk of IBD was similar after adjusting for antibiotics, hormone replacement therapy, oral contraceptives, comorbidities, and cardiovascular agents. 

For more information visit