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Q J Med. 1990 May;75(277):423-39.

Clinical features, morbidity and mortality of Scottish children with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Gastro-Intestinal Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.


From the Scottish Hospitals in-patients statistics for the years 1968-1983 all children and teenagers (a total of 1257) admitted to a National Health Service hospital with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis were identified. Case records of samples of patients with onset of symptoms at or before age 16 years were examined to establish the features, morbidity and mortality of unselected cohorts of young patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Median delay in diagnosis was less than six months. Anatomical distribution for Crohn's disease was similar to that in adults (small bowel 30 per cent; large bowel 28 per cent; small and large bowel 38 per cent) and almost half the patients with ulcerative colitis had extensive colitis. The morbidity was substantial in both. In-patient days for Crohn's disease ranged from seven to 322, median 64 days and for ulcerative colitis one to 275, median 30 days. At diagnosis, 11 of 40 young children with Crohn's disease but none of 14 with ulcerative colitis, were below the third centile for height. Despite treatment with corticosteroids 72 per cent of patients with Crohn's disease and 30 per cent of patients with ulcerative colitis required surgical treatment. Seventeen per cent have a permanent stoma. There were only six deaths, all before 1978.

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