BACKGROUND: Very little is known about the long-term impact of maternal inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) on the offspring's future health. We aimed to examine whether children born to mothers with IBD had an increased risk of long-term morbidities.
METHODS: In this nationwide register-based cohort study, including all children born alive in Denmark between 1989 and 2013, we investigated the association between maternal IBD and 15 selected disease categories of physical and mental conditions in the offspring. We used multivariate regression models estimating the hazard ratio (HR) of long-term child morbidities.
RESULTS: The cohort comprised 9238 children born to women with IBD (exposed), and 1,371,407 born to women without IBD (unexposed). Median follow-up time among the exposed was 9.7 years (interquartile range [IQR] 4.9-15.7) and 13.8 (interquartile range 7.4-19.9) among the unexposed. In children, who in utero had been exposed to maternal ulcerative colitis, the HR of IBD in the offspring was 4.63 (95% confidence interval, 3.49-6.16). For maternal Crohn's disease, the HR of IBD in the offspring was 7.70 (95% confidence interval, 5.66-10.47). For all other diseases in the offspring, we did not find a significantly increased risk associated with maternal IBD.
CONCLUSIONS: Children born to mothers with IBD are more likely to be diagnosed with IBD themselves, compared with children born to women without IBD. Our data otherwise do not provide evidence for an increased risk of any of the other examined diseases in the offspring.