Clinical Systematic Review
Cardiovascular disease and inflammatory bowel disease
Giulia D’Arcangelo, Marina Aloi
1Dipartimento di Pediatria, Sapienza, Università di Roma, Unità di Gastroenterologia pediatrica, Policlinico Umberto I, Roma
Over the past years, an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the absence of the traditional risk factors, has been demonstrated in patients affected with IBD. Endothelial dysfunction, an early marker of atherosclerosis, can be caused by high levels of cytokines, C-reactive protein and homocysteine, together with an altered lipid and coagulation profile, often observed in IBD patients. The inflamed gut mucosa has an impact on atherogenesis by releasing into the circulation microbial products leading to a rise of proinflammatory cytokines. Further epidemiological and prospective studies are needed to assess the exact mechanism through which IBD and cardiovascular disease are related.