(HealthDay News) – Over the past 30 years in Denmark, mortality from ulcerative colitis (UC) has decreased, but mortality from Crohn’s disease (CD) has remained persistently higher than the general population, according to research published in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Tine Jess, MD, DrSci, of the National Center for Health Data and Disease Control in Copenhagen, and colleagues used data from a Danish cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease to compare mortality from 1982–2010 for 15,361 patients with CD; 36,080 patients with UC; and 2,858,096 matched controls.

The researchers observed a considerable increase in mortality in the first year after diagnosis with inflammatory bowel disease. Among individuals with UC and CD, intermediate and long-term mortalities increased by 10 and 50%, respectively, compared with the general population. For patients with UC, overall mortalities decreased from 1990–1999 and from 2000–2010, compared with 1982–1989; this was mainly due to decreased mortality for colorectal cancer, gastrointestinal disease, and suicide. In contrast, there was no similar reduction observed for individuals with CD. This was attributed to long-term increased mortality from infections, cancer, respiratory diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases.

“Of note, patients diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease in recent years did not have a higher mortality from infections than patients diagnosed before the introduction of biologics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease,” the authors write.

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