Genetic polymorphisms associated with smoking behaviour predict the risk of surgery in patients with Crohn's disease.

Lang, B M; Biedermann, L; van Haaften, W T; de Vallière, C; Schuurmans, M; Begré, S; Zeitz, J; Scharl, M; Turina, M; Greuter, T; Schreiner, P; Heinrich, H; Kuntzen, T; Vavricka, S R; Rogler, G; Beerenwinkel, N; Misselwitz, B (2018). Genetic polymorphisms associated with smoking behaviour predict the risk of surgery in patients with Crohn's disease. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 47(1), pp. 55-66. Wiley-Blackwell 10.1111/apt.14378

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Smoking is a strong environmental factor leading to adverse outcomes in Crohn's disease, but a more benign course in ulcerative colitis. Several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with smoking quantity and behaviour.


To assess whether smoking-associated SNPs interact with smoking to influence the clinical course of inflammatory bowel diseases.


Genetic and prospectively obtained clinical data from 1434 Swiss inflammatory bowel disease cohort patients (821 Crohn's disease and 613 ulcerative colitis) were analysed. Six SNPs associated with smoking quantity and behaviour (rs588765, rs1051730, rs1329650, rs4105144, rs6474412 and rs3733829) were combined to form a risk score (range: 0-12) by adding the number of risk alleles. We calculated multivariate models for smoking, risk of surgery, fistula, Crohn's disease location and ulcerative colitis disease extent.


In Crohn's disease patients who smoke, the number of surgeries was associated with the genetic risk score. This translates to a predicted 3.5-fold (95% confidence interval: 2.4- to 5.7-fold, P<.0001) higher number of surgical procedures in smokers with 12 risk alleles than individuals with the lowest risk. Patients with a risk score >7 had a significantly shorter time to first intestinal surgery. The genetic risk score did not predict surgery in ulcerative colitis or occurrence of fistulae in Crohn's disease. SNP rs6265 was associated with ileal disease in Crohn's disease (P<.05) and proctitis in ulcerative colitis (P<.05).


SNPs associated with smoking quantity is associated with an increased risk for surgery in Crohn's disease patients who smoke. Our data provide an example of genetics interacting with the environment to influence the disease course of inflammatory bowel disease.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Anja Ebeling

Date Deposited:

02 Nov 2022 12:49

Last Modified:

02 Nov 2022 13:06

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Additional Information:

Christoph Müller (Institute of Pathology) is Member of the Swiss IBD Cohort Study Group




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