Crohn Disease (CD) may increase one’s risk of thyroid cancer, according to an article published in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.1 The article’s authors speculated that CD and thyroid cancer share pathogenetic pathways.

The relationship between inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and thyroid cancer incidence is not firmly established. Several previous studies offered incompatible results; for this study, researchers analyzed 289,935 IBD-related hospitalizations in 2012 to assess the relationship between IBD and thyroid cancer risk.

Information was obtained using the 2012 National Inpatient Samples (NIS) database; IBD-related hospitalizations were contrasted with 315,145 diverticulitis-related hospitalizations.

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While ulcerative colitis, a form of IBD, was not linked to incidence of thyroid cancer, patients with CD had 2.3 higher odds of developing thyroid cancer than patients with diverticulitis. Contrary to other findings, furthermore, there was no difference in thyroid cancer incidence between the genders.

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The authors offered a number of explanations for these findings, including shared pathogenic pathways for CD and thyroid cancer, the use of immunomodulators for patients with CD, and radiation exposure from testing at the time of CD diagnosis.

The authors concluded that physicians ought to closely monitor patients with CD for any thyroid diseases.


  1. Wadhwa V, Lopez R, Shen B. Crohn’s disease is associated with the risk for thyroid cancer. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2016;22(12):2902-6.