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The impact of smoking in Crohn's disease: no smoke without fire
  1. Marian C Aldhous,
  2. J Satsangi
  1. Gastrointestinal Unit, Molecular Medicine Centre, University of Edinburgh, Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr M C Aldhous, Gastrointestinal Unit, Molecular Medicine Centre, University of Edinburgh, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh EH4 2XU, UK; maldhous{at}


Smoking habit is the most widely accepted environmental factor affecting the incidence and disease progression in the inflammatory bowel diseases. The contrasting effects in Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis are unexplained. The purpose of this review is to summarise the existing data on the effects of smoking in CD on disease history, recurrence after surgery, effects on drug responses and to review available evidence that carriage of some of the known susceptibility genes may be disproportionate in smokers with CD. The review also highlights potential mechanisms involved and factors that might affect patients' smoking habits. The clinical and scientific implications of the data are discussed.

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  • Funding MCA was funded by grants from the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government. The funding source had no involvement in the writing of the report for publication.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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