IBD Diagnosed in Children Can Put Them at Risk of Earlier Death, Study Finds

IBD Diagnosed in Children Can Put Them at Risk of Earlier Death, Study Finds
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, diagnosed in childhood puts these patients — particularly those with severe disease or complications like cancer — at a higher risk of death that persists into adulthood, researchers at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report. Their study,  "Increased Mortality of Patients with Childhood-onset Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Compared With the General Population," was published in Gastroenterology.   Clinical presentation of childhood-onset IBD is characterized by many of the same traits as adult-onset disease, but limited evidence suggests it is often more severe. Pediatric cases have also been linked to various types of cancer, but life expectancy studies are rare. Researchers performed a population-based cohort study to estimate mortality risk for overall and cause-specific mortality in childhood-onset IBD patients, during childhood and adulthood. Making use of the Swedish nationwide health registers between 1964 and 2014, investigators identified 9,442 individuals  diagnosed with IBD before age 18, and 93,180 healthy subjects matched for sex, age, calendar year, and place of residence. Within the IBD group there were 4,671 patients with ulcerative colitis, 3,780 with Crohn’s disease, and 991 with unclassified IBD. Mortality rates were then compared between both groups and among calendar periods, and mean age at end of follow-up was 30 years. Results showed ulcerative colitis patients were four times more likely to die than those in the control group, while Crohn’s disease and unclassified IBD children had around a two-fold increase in risk of death. “Among patients younger than 18 years, there were 27 deaths from IBD,” they reported, indica
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