The researchers discovered that the genes responsible for Crohn's disease are connected with other conditions, such as:
- Breast Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- High Cholesterol
- and Hodgkin's lymphoma
In addition, the study reveals that new genetic links between genes associated with certain fats might reduce the risk of gallstones and lower cholesterol.
Dr Evropi Theodoratou of the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Population Health Sciences explained:
"Showing that genes are linked to more than one disease is very important. We have shown that this is a common finding and not just an exception.
Anyone who goes for genetic testing should be aware that in future, any information they receive about individual genes could have wider implications than they or the clinician immediately realize. They could also influence the risk of other conditions, so being aware of these wider effects is important."
Data from the National Human Genome Research Institutes' catalogue of published genes which influence risk of common diseases was used in the examination.