Patients with a rare chronic skin condition called hidradenitis suppurativa may be at risk for developing Crohn’s disease, according to new research published in JAMA Dermatology.
Characterized by small, painful lumps under the skin, typically in areas like the armpits, groin, between the buttocks and under the breasts, hidradenitis suppurativa shares clinical features with Crohn’s disease, and previous data from studies have suggested the two conditions may be linked.
To assess the prevalence of Crohn’s disease among patients with hidradenitis suppurativa, and the association between the two conditions, investigators from the department of dermatology at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, New Hyde Park, New York, performed a cross-sectional analysis of electronic health records data on 51,340 patients with hidradenitis suppurativa in the U.S., 35,000 of whom were women, and more than half of whom were aged 18 to 44 years.
Crohn’s disease was significantly more prevalent among these patients compared with individuals without hidradenitis suppurativa (2% vs. 0.6%; P < .001) and was most prevalent among patients who were white (2.3%), aged 45 to 64 years (2.4%), not obese (2.8%), and tobacco smokers (2.3%).
Univariate analysis revealed that patients with hidradenitis suppurativa had a 3.29 (95% CI; 3.09-3.5) times higher risk for developing Crohn’s disease, and multivariate analysis showed a 3.05 (95% CI, 2.87-3.25) times higher risk than individuals without the skin condition.
Crohn’s disease was associated with hidradenitis suppurativa across all patient subgroups, especially among men (OR = 3.61; 95% CI, 3.24-4.03), patients aged 45 to 64 years (OR = 3.49; 95% CI, 3.16-3.85), patients without obesity (OR = 4.09; 95% CI, 3.69-4.54), and nonsmokers (OR = 3.44; 95%CI, 3.10-3.82).
Investigators concluded that patients with hidradenitis suppurativa who develop gastrointestinal symptoms suggestive of Crohn’s disease should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist, so that patients can be identified early and have their treatment optimized to avoid complications. – by Adam Leitenberger
Mayo Clinic. Hidradenitis suppurativa. Accessed May 22, 2018. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hidradenitis-suppurativa/symptoms-causes/syc-20352306.
Disclosures: The study was partially funded by AbbVie. One of the study authors reports financial relationships with AbbVie, Pfizer, Janssen, Asana Biosciences and Merck.