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Mortality Rate Increased in Crohn's Disease Patients

Medications have varying effects on mortality in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis

THURSDAY, Dec. 27 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with inflammatory bowel disease, mortality is increased in those with Crohn's disease compared to ulcerative colitis, and medication has varying associations with mortality in both conditions, according to research published in the December issue of Gastroenterology.

Susan M. Hutfless, and colleagues at Kaiser Permanente Northern California in Oakland, Calif., conducted a retrospective, population-based cohort study of 9,032 Kaiser Permanente Northern California members who received at least one inpatient or two outpatient diagnoses of inflammatory bowel disease during 1996-2002.

Compared to patients without inflammatory bowel disease, the researchers found that the mortality ratio was higher in patients with Crohn's disease (odds ratio 1.4) but not in patients with ulcerative colitis (OR, 1.0). They also found that the odds ratios for mortality in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis were 0.7 and 0.8, respectively, for aminosalicylates, 1.3 and 0.5 for immunomodulators, and 1.0 and 0.8 for corticosteroids.

"Compared with previous studies, the key strengths of this study are its inclusion of medications and smoking status; occurrence over a short, recent period; the large number of deaths among patients with inflammatory bowel disease enabling examination of cause-specific death; and use of validation studies to confirm the death and explore its circumstances," the authors write.

Hutfless owns stock in Pfizer and GlaxoSmithKline and another study author receives grant support from Procter and Gamble and Protein Design Laboratories.

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