Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease Have Higher Risk of Developing Bacteremia

According to Medical XPress, hospitalized patients with inflammatory bowel disease are more at risk of developing bacteremia, particularly if they are older in age. Researchers came to this conclusion using data from 5,522 patients with inflammatory bowel disease, who were treated over an 11 year period. Read the full study in the United European Gastroenterology Journal.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) encompasses conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Patients with IBD often experience inflammation in their digestive tract. Symptoms vary in severity, but can include diarrhea, fever, fatigue, abdominal pain, bloody stool, and weight loss. Complications of IBD include colon cancer, blood clots, widespread inflammation, and primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic disease that blocks and damages bile ducts.

If you suddenly experience these symptoms, or a change in bowel habits, consider speaking to your doctor. Learn more about inflammatory bowel disease.


Bacteremia is a condition in which bacteria are present in the bloodstream. People with bacteremia may be asymptomatic. However, those who experience symptoms may have a fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Severe bacteremia can cause sepsis, which can progress to organ failure or death. 

Bacteremia has many causes. First, an infection from one part of the body can spread. Next, severe injuries or burns can cause bacteremia. Additional causes include medical treatments, catheters, or dental procedures. Learn more about bacteremia.

The Study

The study used data from 5,522 patients with inflammatory bowel disease over an 11 year period. The patients varied in age from 16 to 80. Approximately 73 patients had bacteremia when hospitalized. Of these patients:

  • 9 had unclassified IBD (which means the subset has not yet been determined).
  • 39 had Crohn’s disease.
  • 25 had ulcerative colitis.

The data also showed that the 30-day mortality rate for these patients was 13.7%. Risk of bacteremia for other patients increased the longer they remained hospitalized. Additionally, risk increased with age. Patients above 65 were more likely to develop bacteremia than others.

Even though there may not be many cases of bacteremia, its mortality rate is somewhat high. As such, researchers should carefully monitor the condition of hospitalized patients with inflammatory bowel disease, particularly if increased risk factors are present.

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn

Jessica Lynn has an educational background in writing and marketing. She firmly believes in the power of writing in amplifying voices, and looks forward to doing so for the rare disease community.

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email