Researchers from Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, analyzed the comorbid medical conditions that contribute to death of patients with inflammatory bowel disease.
They used the United States' vital statistics, as these offer the opportunity to study causes of death broken down by primary and contributing secondary conditions.
Deaths from ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) were retrieved from the 1991-1996 data files of the National Center for Health Statistics.
The strengths of individual associations between each comorbid condition and UC or CD were expressed as proportional mortality ratios. These were adjusted to the age-, gender-, and race-distribution of the general population.
Deaths from UC and CD were found to be associated with a similar set of comorbid conditions and complications.
| Deaths from IBD often associated with intervention complications.
| Inflammatory Bowel Diseases |
Shock, volume depletion, protein/calorie malnutrition, and anemia were the most frequent comorbid conditions in the group of nutritional, fluid, and electrolyte disturbances.
The researchers found that both diseases were frequently associated with peritonitis and septicemia.
Lastly, a large number of deaths were associated with complications following medical and surgical interventions.
Authors C. Cucino and A. Sonnenberg, from the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the University of New Mexico, said that deaths due to inflammatory bowel disease appear to be related to complications from multiple medical interventions and surgical procedures.
In managing inflammatory bowel disease, the physician must keep in mind the potential for complications that may be associated with aggressive treatment, they concluded.