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Are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD's) hereditary?

Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis appear to have a genetic component, meaning that these diseases run in families. In fact, about 15% to 30% of people with IBD have a family member with the condition. 
Also, people of Jewish heritage, particularly the Ashkenazi Jewish population, have an increased risk of developing Crohn's disease. Researchers have identified close to 32 genes that may play a part in Crohn's disease. Researchers at the Jill Roberts Center are currently collaborating with Weill Cornell Medical College researchers and exploring the function of one of these genes – the NOD-2 gene – and Crohn's disease. Specifically, researchers are investigating to see if the NOD-2 gene is linked to low levels of interleukin 10 (IL-10), which is an anti-inflammatory protein in the body. This deficiency in IL-10 may drive the persistent inflammation that occurs in the intestines of people with Crohn's disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) could be hereditary. Further genetic research in the coming years will help us understand the disease better. Learn more from Dr. Eugene Yen on behalf of NorthShore University HealthSystem about inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.