Divergent patterns of total and cancer mortality in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease patients: the Florence IBD study 1978 -- 2001

Masala, G.; Bognoli, S.; Ceroli, M.; Saieva, C.; Trallori, G.; Zanna, I.; d'Albasio, G.; Palli, D.
September 2004
Gut;Sep2004, Vol. 53 Issue 9, p1309
Academic Journal
Background and aims: Two divergent patterns of mortality for smoking related diseases in ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease patients were suggested in a previous population based study in Florence, Italy. Long term follow up (median 15 years) was completed to re-evaluate mortality in this Mediterranean cohort. Patients and methods: Overall, 920 patients with inflammatory bowel disease were followed until December 2001 or death, with seven patients (0.8%) lost to follow up. A total of 14 040 person years were available for analysis; 118 deaths were observed (81/689 in ulcerative colitis and 37/231 in Crohn's disease). Expected deaths were estimated using age, sex, and calendar specific national and local mortality rates; standardised mortality ratios (SMR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) were calculated. Results: Among Crohn's disease patients, mortality was strongly increased for gastrointestinal diseases (SMR 4.49 (95% CI 1.80-9.25)), all cancers (SMR 2.10 (95% CI 1.22-3.36)), and lung cancer (SMR 4.00 (95% CI 1.60-8.24)), leading to a significant 50% excess total mortality. Ulcerative colitis patients showed a significantly reduced total mortality because of lower cardiovascular (SMR 0.67 (95% CI 0.45-0.95)) and lung cancer (SMR 0.32 (95% CI 0.07-0.95)) mortality. No significant excess for colorectal cancer mortality was evident in this extended follow up. Conclusions: These clearly divergent patterns of mortality correlate with documented differences in smoking habits between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis patients. Family doctors and gastroenterologists should consider stopping cigarette smoking a specific priority for Crohn's disease patients; the latter should be offered free participation in structured programmes for smoking cessation, with the aim of reducing smoking related excess mortality. Overall, no evidence of an increased mortality for large bowel cancer emerged in this series.


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