Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s more common in women living in the Northern parts of the United States…is it lack of Sun?

Who knew that geography would be important in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)? Well, a new study showed that women living in southern portions of the United States had a lowerincidence than did those living in northern regions of the country. Here are some of the interesting details:

- Researchers looked at where the women had lived at age 30 years, and found that those living in southern latitudes had a significantly lower risk for Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease.

- This was true even after accounting for factors like ancestry and smoking

- The reason for this association between latitude and inflammatory bowel disease incidence is not clear. One leading theory is that differences in exposure to sunlight or UVB radiation is generally greater in southern latitudes.

- As many of you know, sun exposure is important for vitamin D levels, and there is evidence that Vitamin D plays a role in immunity and regulation of the inflammatory response
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