The researchers investigated mortality and causes of death in Crohn's disease, and reported their findings in the June issue of Gastroenterology.
A cohort of 374 patients with Crohn's disease, diagnosed in Copenhagen County between 1962 and 1987, was observed until 1997.
Observed deaths were compared with expected deaths.
A total of 84 deaths occurred versus 67 expected (standardized mortality ratio [SMR], 1.3).
Among women these figures were 45 observed versus 32 expected (SMR, 1.4). In men, there were 39 observed compared to 35 expected (SMR, 1.1).
An excess mortality was found among women observed for 21-25 years after diagnosis.
|Deaths among women < 50 years at diagnosis:|
| Gastroenterology |
Among women aged < 50 years at diagnosis, 25 deaths were observed versus 7 expected (SMR, 3.42).
Some 14 (31%) of the observed deaths among women and 8 (21%) among men had a certain or possible connection to Crohn's disease.
Among causes of death unrelated to Crohn's disease, the authors discovered an overrepresentation of gastrointestinal diseases, infections, and diseases of the urinary organs.
Dr Tine Jess, of Herlev Hospital, University of Copenhagen, concluded on behalf of fellow colleagues, "An increased mortality was observed late in the disease course.
"This was most pronounced among women younger than 50 years at diagnosis and was attributed to death associated with severe Crohn's disease."