Research Impact: Crohn’s disease (CD) is a debilitating inflammatory bowel condition of unknown aetiology that is growing in prevalence globally. Large-scale studies have determined associations between female obesity or low body mass index (BMI) with risk of CD at all ages or 8– < 40 years, respectively. For males, low BMI entering adult life is associated with increased incidence of CD or ulcerative colitis up to 40 years later. Body composition analysis has shown that combinations of lean tissue loss and high visceral fat predict poor CD outcomes.
Here, we assessed dietary intake, physical activity and whole or regional body composition of patients with CD relapse or remission. This anthropometric approach found people with CD, irrespective of relapse or remission, differed from a large representative healthy population sample in exhibiting elevated gynoid fat and reduced android fat. CD is associated with mesenteric adipose tissue, or “creeping fat”, that envelops affected intestine exclusive of other tissue; that fat is localised to the android region of the body. In this context, CD mesenteric adiposity represents a stark juxtaposition of organ-specific and regional adiposity. Although our study population was relatively small, we suggest tentatively that there is a rationale to refer to Crohn’s disease as a fatty intestine condition, akin to fatty liver conditions. We suggest that our data provide early insight into a subject that potentially warrants further investigation across a larger patient cohort.
Dowling L, Jakeman P, Norton C, Skelly MM, Yousuf H, Kiernan MG, Toomey M, Bowers S, Dunne SS, Coffey CJ, Dunne CP. Adults with Crohn’s disease exhibit elevated gynoid fat and reduced android fat irrespective of disease relapse or remission. Scientific Reports. 2021;11(1):19258. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-98798-9