Dr Tomm Bernklev and colleagues assessed health-related quality of life in a population-based cohort of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients.
The researchers assessed the patients on the basis of a cross-sectional design, and followed them prospectively for 5 years after diagnosis.
The research team investigated the influence of the course of disease, drug therapy, and relapse pattern on the patients' health-related quality of life.
All patients completed the validated Norwegian version of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire.
The team analyzed the data from 497 patients, of which 328 had ulcerative colitis and 169 had Crohn's disease.
|Crohn's patients treated with azathioprine had a total score reduction|
|European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The mean age of the patients was 43 years, and 48% were female.
Crohn's disease patients treated with systemic steroids or azathioprine had a reduction in the total score of the questionnaire compared with non-users.
The researchers observed that patients with a more severe disease pattern had a lower total score in the questionnaire.
Patients reporting a relapse during the observation period had a lower total score and dimension scores than patients without relapse in both diagnostic groups.
In addition, the team noted a significant decrease in the questionnaire's total score for those with extra-intestinal manifestations compared with those without.
Multiple linear regression showed number of relapses during the preceding year in ulcerative colitis to be the strongest predictor of a reduction in the questionnaire's total score.
In Crohn's disease, the team found that female gender was the strongest predictor of reducing the questionnaire's total score.
Dr Bernklev's team commented, “Treatment with systemic steroids or immunosuppressive drugs were associated with a clinically significant reduction in the patients' health-related quality of life.”
“A relapsing disease and the presence of extra-intestinal manifestations were also associated with a clinically significant reduction in the patients' health-related quality of life.”