Risk of de-novo inflammatory bowel disease among obese patients treated with bariatric surgery or weight loss medications

Gursimran S. Kochhar, Aakash Desai, Aslam Syed, Abhinav Grover, Sandra El Hachem, Heitham Abdul-Baki, Preethi Chintamaneni, Elie Aoun, Sowjanya Kanna, Dalbir S. Sandhu, Siddharth Singh, Bo Shen, Edward V. Loftus, Parambir S. Dulai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: An association between bariatric surgery and development of de-novo inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been observed. Aim: To evaluate further the association among bariatric surgery, weight loss medications, obesity and new-onset IBD. Methods: Using Explorys, a population-based Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act compliant database, we estimated the prevalence of de-novo IBD among patients treated with bariatric surgery (Roux-en-Y gastrojejunostomy, laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy or gastric banding) (n = 60 870) or weight loss medications (orlistat, phentermine/topiramate, lorcaserin, bupropion/naltrexone and liraglutide) (n = 193 790) compared with obese controls (n = 5 021 210), between 1999 and 2018. Results: The prevalence of de-novo IBD was lower among obese patients exposed to bariatric surgery (7.72 per 1000 patients) or weight loss medications (7.22 per 1000 patients) compared with patients with persistent obesity not exposed to these interventions (11.66 per 1000 patients, P < 0.0001). The risk reduction for de-novo IBD was consistent across bariatric surgeries and weight loss medications with the exception of orlistat which was not associated with a reduction in risk for de-novo IBD compared with the persistent obese control cohort. Conclusion: Obese patients undergoing treatment with bariatric surgery or weight loss medications are at a lower risk for developing de-novo IBD compared with persistently obese controls not exposed to these interventions. These data suggest that obesity and ineffective management of obesity are risk factors for de-novo IBD. Further research is needed to confirm these observations and understand potential mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1067-1075
Number of pages9
JournalAlimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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