Faculty Sponsor

Lina Begdache


Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of chronic conditions of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two primary types of IBD. Some pathologic ramifications of these diseases include weight loss, diarrhea, anemia, osteoporosis, and malignancies. The purpose of this study was to find potential unestablished associations between comorbidities linked to an inflammatory state, nutritional supplements used to help alleviate inflammation and promote wellbeing, and the psychological toll on patients.

A deidentified database of 404 IBD patients built by Binghamton Gastroenterology Associates collected information on demographics, medical treatment, symptoms, and medical problems, including psychological disorders. We used semantic connectivity maps obtained through the Auto-Connectivity Map (CM) system to visualize relationships in our data. We aimed to identify possible associations between nutritional supplements (vitamin D, multivitamins, omega-3, and folic acid) and inflammation related to arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and hypertension, along with correlations to anxiety and depression. Our results reflect a close association between arthritis and hypertension (LS=0.68). Folic acid is linked to anxiety (LS= 0.74) and CVD (LS= 0.73). A strong association exists between lack of omega-3 intake and both arthritis (LS= 0.85) and depression (LS= 0.85). Depression and vitamin D intake are also associated (LS= 0.80). The association between arthritis, hypertension and CVD could be a direction for future research.