The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) had increased during the last decades.
It is unclear whether this increase has been accompanied by an alteration in the presentation, course, and prognosis of the disease.
Dr Tine Jess and colleagues from Denmark evaluated 3 consecutive population-based IBD cohorts between 1962 and 2005.
|The surgery rate decreased significantly in Crohn's disease|
|Inflammatory Bowel Diseases|
The team evaluated phenotype, initial disease course, use of medications, cumulative surgery rate, and standardized incidence ratio of colorectal cancer.
In addition, the researchers assessed standardized mortality ratio.
The 3 cohorts included a total of 641 patients with Crohn's disease and 1575 patients with ulcerative colitis.
The researchers found that the proportion of IBD patients suffering from Crohn's disease increased.
The team noted that time from onset of symptoms to diagnosis of Crohn's disease decreased.
The research team observed that median age at diagnosis of ulcerative colitis increased.
The prevalence of upper gastrointestinal involvement and pure colonic Crohn's disease varied significantly between cohorts.
The team found that ulcerative colitis patients diagnosed in the 1990s had a higher prevalence of proctitis.
Patients diagnosed in the 1990s also received more medications, and had a milder initial disease course than did previous patients.
The surgery rate decreased significantly in Crohn's disease but not in ulcerative colitis.
The risk of colorectal cancer in IBD was close to expected over the entire period, whereas the mortality of patients with Crohn's disease increased.
Dr Jess' team concluded, “Despite variations in the presentation and initial course of IBD during the last 5 decades, its long-term prognosis remained fairly stable.”
“Treatment of IBD changed recently, and future studies should address the effect of these changes on long-term prognosis.”