Scientists discover that gay men are twice as likely to get this disease

Scientists discover that gay men are twice as likely to get this disease

Stomachache Crohns Bowel Diarrhea

The study found that 0.8% of same-sex patients who engaged in high-risk sexual activity had Crohn’s disease, while only 0.49 heterosexual men who engaged in high-risk sexual activity had Crohn’s disease. had.

The research will enable the development of individualized, precision medicine for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease in this underrepresented minority of patients.

According to a recent study by Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center (UH), gay men are more than twice as likely as heterosexual men to develop inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) when both groups participate in high-risk sexual activity.

The study was recently published in the peer-reviewed medical journal gut.

“To our knowledge, this is the first large population-based study demonstrating a higher prevalence of IBD in men who engage in high-risk same-sex sexual activity,” said Emad Mansoor, the study’s lead author and assistant researcher. professor at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and UH. “Our study is expected to open up a new area of ​​research in gastrointestinal inflammatory disease.”

“Studying the cause of IBD in this underrepresented patient population compared to other patient groups,” said Fabio Cominelli, corresponding study author, professor at the School of Medicine and chief Scientific Officer at UH, “will allow us to further investigate the cause. investigating disease progression in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and developing personalized precision medicine and treatment strategies, while also reducing stigma.”

The importance of the study is emphasized by the fact that more than 7.1% of Americans identify as LGBTQIA+, according to Gallup, up from 5.6% in 2020.

The findings

Between 2002 and 2022, the researchers analyzed self-reported data from individuals treated at 58 healthcare facilities in the United States.

According to the data, 0.8% of individuals diagnosed with high-risk same-sex activity had Crohn’s disease and 1.26% had ulcerative colitis. These results contrasted with those of men participating in high-risk heterosexual behavior, of whom 0.49% had Crohn’s disease and 0.52% had ulcerative colitis.

This study defined high-risk sexual activity as sexual contact without barrier protection and having multiple sexual partners.

The team also analyzed data related to Crohn’s disease and found that men who engaged in high-risk same-sex sexual activity were more likely to have perianal disease, including perianal abscess, rectal abscess, and stenosis. disease of the large intestine or small intestine. Among those with severe manifestations of ulcerative colitis, men who engaged in high-risk same-sex sexual activity were more likely to have a partial colectomy.

The findings will be further evaluated by the team, including a study of the potential role of the gut microbiome, in a long-term study that will allow researchers to track participants over time.

Continuing Research with NIH Funding

The team will continue its research to better understand if and how LGBTQIA+ individuals are more susceptible to gastrointestinal disease through funding awarded this year to the Cleveland Digestive Diseases Research Core Center (DDRCC).

The center recently received an additional $100,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It will enable the researchers to significantly expand the number of LGBTQIA+ patients in the DDRCC’s biorepository core.[{” attribute=””>plasma, tissue and stool samples, and gut microbiome analyses.

“This supplementary grant is an addition to our $1 million NIH grant funding that is running from 2020 through 2025,” Cominelli said. “We are in the process of opening a new clinic dedicated to LGBTQ+ patients with the goal of improving access to healthcare. Our goal is to improve patient access and develop new therapies for gastrointestinal conditions.”

Reference: “Epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease in men with high-risk homosexual activity” by Emad Mansoor, Scott A Martin, Abe Perez, Vu Quang Nguyen, Jeffry A Katz, Shubham Gupta and Fabio Cominelli, 1 September 2022, Gut.
DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2022-328218

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