Mortality Risk for Ulcerative Colitis Not Elevated

Some increase in risk seen at certain times and in subgroups

THURSDAY, March 15 (HealthDay News) -- The overall risk of death in patients with ulcerative colitis is similar to the general population, although the risk is elevated during the first years of follow-up and in certain subgroups, according to a meta-analysis in the March issue of the American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Tine Jess, M.D., from Herlev University Hospital in Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues identified and performed a meta-analysis of 10 published studies that examined overall and cause-specific mortality in patients with ulcerative colitis.

The researchers calculated an overall pooled standardized mortality ratio of 1.1. However, the risk of dying was higher during the first years of follow-up, in those with extensive colitis, and in those from Scandinavia. Seventeen percent of deaths were ulcerative colitis-related, and there were more deaths from gastrointestinal diseases, non-alcoholic liver diseases, pulmonary embolisms, and respiratory diseases and fewer deaths from pulmonary cancer.

"The overall risk of dying in patients with ulcerative colitis did not differ from that of the background population, although subgroups of patients were at greater risk of dying," Jess and colleagues conclude. "The cause-of-death distribution seemed to differ from that of the background population."

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