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The World in Medicine
January 21, 2004

Cold Conjecture

JAMA. 2004;291(3):291. doi:10.1001/jama.291.3.291-d

Scientists believe that Crohn disease is caused by environmental factors triggering an abnormal immune response of the gut mucosa in genetically susceptible individuals. Now, French researchers have proposed that certain types of bacteria that survive in refrigerated food may play a role in the disorder, and that the emergence of the disease in the latter half of the 20th century was related to the availability of modern refrigeration (Lancet. 2003;362:2012-2015).