Chronic inflammation may contribute to cancer risk through the accumulation of specific products as a result of DNA damage. Endogenous antioxidant enzymes prevent the formation of these harmful products. Oxidative DNA damage and endogenous antioxidant defense were determined in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Plasma levels of 8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) and nitric oxide (NO) and plasma activities of glutathione peroxidase (G-Px) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) were determined in patients with IBD by ELISA and spectrophotometric assay, respectively. Plasma levels of 8-OHdG, SOD, and G-Px activity were found to be increased in the patient group compared to the control group (P < 0.02, P < 0.001, and P < 0.001, respectively), whereas NO was unchanged. 8-OHdG level was found to be weakly correlated with age, NO, and SOD. The results show increased DNA damage in patients with IBD. This may explain the increased risk of developing colon cancer in these patients.