Q&A with Russell Cohen: Does the Westernization of Countries Lead to Westernized Diseases?

DECEMBER 10, 2015
Amy Jacob

Russell Cohen, MD, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Center at The University of Chicago Medicine, discussed the progress made not only in the clinical care of IBD, but also in the basic science group and translational core at the 2015 Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (AIBD) meeting in Orlando, FL.
There's been a lot of interest in many different areas of IBD and one in particular is the microbiome, which essentially asks the question of why people get inflammatory bowel disease. According to Cohen, "It's been well described that as countries become more Westernized, they get more 'Western' diseases, IBD being one of those groups of diseases."
While the gut flora had long been considered a reactive force to whatever has been occurring in the body, it is now understood the gut flora could, in fact, be the driving force behind many of these diseases.

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