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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005 Oct;17(10):1037-45.

Course of disease, drug treatment and health-related quality of life in patients with inflammatory bowel disease 5 years after initial diagnosis.

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Medical Department, Rikshospitalet University Hospital, Oslo, Norway.



We assessed health-related quality of life (HRQOL) on the basis of a cross-sectional design in a population-based cohort of inflammatory bowel disease patients followed prospectively for 5 years after diagnosis. The aim was to investigate the influence of the course of disease, drug therapy, and relapse pattern on the patients' HRQOL.


All patients completed the validated Norwegian version of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (N-IBDQ). We present data from 497 patients, 328 with ulcerative colitis and 169 with Crohn's disease. The mean age was 43.3 years, and 48% were female.


Crohn's disease patients treated with systemic steroids or azathioprine had a statistically significant reduction in the N-IBDQ total score compared with non-users. Patients with a more severe disease pattern had a lower N-IBDQ total score. Patients reporting a relapse during the observation period had a significantly lower total score and dimension scores than patients without relapse in both diagnostic groups, and likewise there was a statistically significant decrease in N-IBDQ total score for those with extra-intestinal manifestations compared with those without. A multiple linear regression model showed that the number of relapses during the preceding year in ulcerative colitis, and sex (female gender) in Crohn's disease were the strongest predictor of a reduction in N-IBDQ total score.


Treatment with systemic steroids or immunosuppressive drugs, a relapsing disease and the presence of extra-intestinal manifestations were associated with a clinically significant reduction in the patients' HRQOL.

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