CCFA Data Bank - Advancing the Understanding of IBD Genetics

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, affect approximately 1.6 million Americans of all ages. Although fewer than 20% of individuals with IBD have a close relative who is also affected, the lifetime risk for developing IBD is 10 to 20 times higher for close family members (siblings or offspring) of persons with IBD than it is for the general population. This strongly suggests that genetic factors may play an important role in determining whether an individual develops IBD. Identifying specific genes that affect risk is a priority for researchers seeking to understand the underlying disease process in order to improve the treatment and prevention of IBD.

Recent meta-analyses of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) extend to 200 the number of distinct loci that are convincingly associated with IBD. These efforts add to an emerging catalogue of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that are either causal or are, for the majority of loci, in high linkage disequilibrium (LD) with causal variants in IBD. Recognizing the role of genetics in advancing our understanding of IBD pathogenesis, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) aimed to genotype at all known IBD SNPs from 372 patients with Crohn’s disease (CD), 77 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC), and 630 controls.

The goal of this database is to provide a resource for approved investigators to test hypotheses that pertain to IBD pathogenesis and/or diagnosis.  At CCFA we believe that genetic research has the potential to advance our understanding of the etiologies and natural histories of the various forms of IBD, with the long term goal of improving treatment and minimizing the overall impact of IBD.

Interested investigators may view available phenotype and genotype data elements, obtain summaries of the numbers of affected patients and family or population controls, and submit research proposals at the DNA Data bank website at

CCFA’s DNA Bank has been made possible through a generous gift from The Donald W. Reynolds Foundation.