Dr Edward Loftus and colleagues from Minnesota followed a population based cohort of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
The research team analyzed long term survival and cause specific mortality.
A total of 692 patients were followed for a median of 14 years, of which 314 had Crohn's disease and 378 had ulcerative colitis.
The team calculated standardized mortality ratios for specific causes of death.
Cox proportional hazards regression was used to determine if clinical variables were independently associated with mortality.
The team found that 18% of Crohn's disease patients died compared with 15% expected.
|32% with Crohn's disease died from disease related complications|
The researchers noted that 16% ulcerative colitis patients died compared with 21% expected.
The team also found that 32% with Crohn's disease died from disease related complications.
Of the patients with ulcerative colitis, 19% died from related causes.
In Crohn's disease, an increased risk of dying from non-malignant gastrointestinal causes, and gastrointestinal malignancies was observed.
In addition, the team noted that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in Crohn's disease increased the risk of death from non-malignant gastrointestinal causes.
In ulcerative colitis, cardiovascular death was reduced.
Increased age at diagnosis and male sex were associated with mortality in both subtypes.
The researchers found that in ulcerative colitis but not Crohn's disease, a diagnosis after 1980 was associated with decreased mortality.
Dr Loftus' team commented, “In this population based study of IBD patients from North America, overall survival was similar to that expected in the US White population.”
“Crohn's disease patients were at increased risk of dying from gastrointestinal disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease whereas ulcerative colitis patients had a decreased risk of cardiovascular death.”