Crohn's disease and smoking: Is it ever too late to quit?

Ian Lawrance, Kevin Murray, Birol Batman, Richard Gearry, Rachel Grafton, Krupa Krishnaprasad, Jane Andrews, Ruth Prosser, Peter Bampton, Sharon Cooke, G Mahy, Graham Radford-Smith, Anthony Croft, Katherine Hanigan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    39 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Smoking increases CD risk. The aim was to determine if smoking cessation at, prior to, or following, CD diagnosis affects medication use, disease phenotypic progression and/or surgery. Methods: Data on CD patients with disease for ≥. 5. yrs were collected retrospectively including the Montreal classification, smoking history, CD-related abdominal surgeries, family history, medication use and disease behaviour at diagnosis and the time when the disease behaviour changed. Results: 1115 patients were included across six sites (mean follow-up-16.6. yrs). More non-smokers were male (p. = 0.047) with A1 (p. <. 0.0001), L4 (p. = 0.028) and perianal (p. = 0.03) disease. Non-smokers more frequently received anti-TNF agents (p. = 0.049). (p. = 0.017: OR 2.5 95%CI 1.18-5.16) and those who ceased smoking prior to diagnosis (p. = 0.045: OR 2.3 95%CI 1.02-5.21) progressed to complicated (B2/B3) disease as compared to those quitting at diagnosis. Patients with uncomplicated terminal ileal disease at diagnosis more frequently developed B2/B3 disease than isolated colonic CD (p. <. 0.0001). B2/B3 disease was more frequent with perianal disease (p. <. 0.0001) and if i.v. steroids (p. = 0.004) or immunosuppressants (p. <. 0.0001) were used. 49.3% (558/1115) of patients required at least one intestinal surgery. More smokers had a 2nd surgical resection than patients who quit at, or before, the 1st resection and non-smokers (p. = 0.044: HR. = 1.39 95%CI 1.01-1.91). Patients smoking >. 3. cigarettes/day had an increased risk of developing B2/B3 disease (p. = 0.012: OR 3.8 95%CI 1.27-11.17). Conclusion: Progression to B2/B3 disease and surgery is reduced by smoking cessation. All CD patients regardless of when they were diagnosed, or how many surgeries, should be strongly encouraged to cease smoking.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)e665-e671
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Crohns & Colitis
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2013


    • Crohn's disease
    • Disease progression
    • Smoking
    • Surgery


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