Background: Lifestyle factors, including diet, exercise, substance use, and sexual activity, have been shown to influence risk of inflammation and complications in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Little is known about their potential role in abdominal pain generation in IBD. Aims: We performed this study to evaluate for relationships between lifestyle factors and abdominal pain in quiescent IBD (QP-IBD). Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis utilizing data from our institution’s IBD Natural History Registry (January 1, 2017–December 31, 2022). Endoscopic evaluation, concurrent laboratory studies and surveys were completed by participants. Demographic and clinical data were also abstracted. Results: We identified 177 consecutive patients with quiescent disease (105 females:72 males; 121 with CD:56 with UC) for participation in this study, 93 (52.5%) had QP-IBD. Compared to patients with quiescent IBD without pain (QNP-IBD, patients with QP-IBD exhibited no significant differences in IBD type, location, severity or complication rate. Patients with QP-IBD were more likely to have anxiety/depression (55.9% vs. 32.1%, p = 0.002) and to use antidepressants/anxiolytics (49.5% vs. 21.4%, p < 0.001). They were also less likely to engage in exercise at least three times per week (39.8% vs. 54.8%, p = 0.05) or participate in sexual activity at least monthly (53.8% vs. 69.1%, p = 0.04). On logistic regression analysis, antidepressant and/or anxiolytic use was independently associated with QP-IBD [2.72(1.32–5.62)], while monthly sexual activity was inversely associated [0.48(0.24–0.96)]. Conclusion: Lifestyle factors, including the lack of sexual activity and exercise, are significantly associated with QP-IBD. Further study is warranted to clarify the relationships between these factors and the development of abdominal pain in quiescent IBD. Graphical Abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4156-4165
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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