Background: Early detection of atherosclerosis is an essential means of decreasing cardiovascular events and its associated mortality. Systemic inflammatory diseases such as ulcerative colitis (UC), are thought to be a contributing factor to atherosclerosis due to the rise of inflammatory cytokines. 
Objective: The aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to assess the association between atherosclerosis and UC.
Methods: This systematic review and meta-analysis was performed in February 2017 with no date restrictions. PubMed, Cochrane Library and Embase were searched to discover all available observational studies on atherosclerosis among UC patients. The STROBE criteria were used to assess the quality of the included articles. Heterogeneity was assessed by the I-square statistic and publication bias with funnel plot and Egger’s regression test. Overall summary mean difference was calculated as study effect size using random effect model. Comprehensive Meta-Analysis Software version 2.2 was used to perform analyses. 
Results: A total of 5 articles met our eligibility criteria. We included a sum of 206 UC patients and 229 non-UC individuals in our review with a mean difference of c-IMT ranged from 0.03±0.0 to 0.16±0.03 mm, and a pooled mean difference of 0.127 mm (95% CI 0.058–0.195: I2 =90.266%). Potential publication bias did not exist for the UC.
Conclusion: Our findings showed significant differences in carotid intima-media thickness among UC and Non-UC groups, making c-IMT a viable choice as a predicting marker for atherosclerosis. Thus, we suggest that policy makers assess and consider its application in future protocols for the follow up and management of UC patients.


Keywords: Inflammatory bowel disease, Ulcerative colitis, Carotid intima-media thickness, Atherosclerosis, Cardiovascular disease


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