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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Crohn's disease


* Not a rare disease
Other Names for this Disease
  • Enteritis
  • Granulomatous colitis
  • Granulomatous enteritis
  • Ileitis
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Is Crohn's disease inherited?

Crohn's disease, like most other autoimmune diseases, is thought to be a multifactorial condition. This means it is likely associated with the effects of multiple genes, in combination with lifestyle and environmental factors.[1] Once an autoimmune disease is present in a family, other relatives may be at risk to develop the same autoimmune disease, or a different autoimmune disease. However, if an autoimmune diseases such as Crohn's disease occurs in a family, it does not necessarily mean that relatives will develop an autoimmune disease.[2] Having an affected family member means that there may be a genetic predisposition in the family that could increase an individual's chance of developing an autoimmune disease. Thus, having an affected family member is considered a risk factor for Crohn's disease.[3]
Last updated: 10/15/2012

  1. What are complex or multifactorial disorders?. Genetics Home Reference. October 8, 2012; Accessed 10/15/2012.
  2. Department of Human Genetics. Autoimmune disorders. Emory University School of Medicine. 2004; Accessed 2/7/2012.
  3. Crohn Disease. Genetics Home Reference (GHR) . August 2007; Accessed 2/7/2012.