Despite identifying numerous factors associated with colonic ischemia, the relative risk has been variable and not thoroughly evaluated. Hence, we aimed to quantify the risk of diseases and medications associated with ischemic colitis (IC).

A population-based retrospective analysis in International Business Machines (IBM) Explorys (1999-2018), a pooled, de-identified database of 57 million patients in the USA, was performed. Odds ratios (OR) were calculated between IC and other diseases/medications. IC patients were also stratified by age to assess trends of IC in different age groups.

A total of 1560 patients had IC in the database. Hyperlipidemia had the highest association with IC (OR 15.3), consistent with prior reports of atherosclerosis being a major risk factor for IC. Hypertension, congestive heart failure, constipation, prior abdominal surgery, and atrial fibrillation all conferred odds greater than 10, which is consistent with prior reports. Novel findings of our study include that beta blockers (OR 9.6) and pro-inflammatory disease states such as vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, and malignancy all increase the risk of IC.

Early identification of IC is critical for minimizing morbidity and mortality. Epidemiologic information could be integrated with current clinical algorithms to more rapidly identify patients at risk.

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