Northport, WA – Harvard Crohn’s & Colitis Studies

Brigham Hospital & Harvard Medical School’s Crohn’s and Colitis Northport Studies

Between 2009 – 2011, with the assistance of Northport residents and Citizens for a Clean Columbia (CCC), The Northport Project conducted a community health survey, of both current and past residents.  Of the over 500 surveys returned, several health clusters were observed.

The findings of our community health survey caught the attention of Dr. Josh Korzenik, the Director of the Crohn’s and Colitis Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, one of the leading IBD researchers in the nation, and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School.


In 2011 Dr. Korzenik and his team partnered with Massachusetts General Hospital & Brigham Women’s Hospital to conducted their own in-depth study of the diagnosed cases of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease in current Northport residents only (past residents were excluded).

Study Results:

Their 2011 study concluded diagnosed cases of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease in the Northport community were extremely elevated in comparison to the national standards. 

That’s about 10 to 15 times what we’d expect to see in a population the size of Northport,” said Korzenik, one of the leading IBD researchers in the country. “I’m not aware of any other cluster like it.

Click here to read more on the study results.


Based on their findings in the initial study, Dr. Korzenik designed a second study of the area. This study was a more “in depth epidemiological case-control study,” the doctor said. “The focus is on finding a possible correlation of chronic exposure to specific heavy metals and ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease”. The second study began in November, 2016. It included residents who had been diagnosed with either Crohn’s or colitis as well as participants who had not been affected.

Study Results:

Dr. Korzenik and his team are combining the results of the heavy metal levels confirmed in the second Northport study with another related study of children recently diagnosed with colitis or Crohn’s. Scientifically, combining the data of the two different studies will present a stronger case to demonstrate heavy metals are a risk factor in causing, or triggering, Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. He anticipates the study results to be published in mid 2020.

“Dr. Korzenik believes Northport could hold the key to finally getting much needed answers.”

–  Jaime Weinstein

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