Originally published by 2 Minute Medicine® (view original article). Reused on AccessMedicine with permission.

1. From 1996 to 2011, life expectancy for IBD patients increased by approximately 3 years, whereas from 1996 to 2008, healthy life expectancy decreased in males and stayed the same in females.

2. People with IBD continue to have lower life and healthy life expectancies than individuals without IBD, ranging from 3 to 14 year differences.

Evidence Rating Level: 2 (Good)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of inflammatory conditions affecting the gastrointestinal system, such as Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis. The last few decades has seen new treatments targeted at stopping disease progression, as well as biologic therapies (therapies derived from organisms). However, previous studies on IBD mortality did not analyze life expectancy, and most took place prior to the advent of biologic therapies. The current study based in Ontario, Canada evaluated trends in life expectancy and health-adjusted life expectancy for individuals with IBD, also comparing their outcomes to individuals without IBD. This was a retrospective cohort study that matched each IBD patient to five non-IBD individuals, by age, sex, rural/urban status, and neighbourhood income quintile. Life and healthy life expectancies were calculated at four time points: July 1 of 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2011. The participants increased from 32,818 IBD patients to 83,672 IBD patients from 1996 to 2011 respectively. Overall, the results found that both life expectancy increased over time, whereas healthy life expectancy remained the same in females and decreased in males. From 1996 to 2011, life expectancy increased by 2.9 years in females (95% CI 1.3-4.5) and in males, this increased by 3.2 years (95% CI 2.1-4.4). For healthy life expectancy, from 1996 to 2008, there was no statistically significant difference in females, but in males, it decreased by 3.9 years (95% CI 1.2-6.6). As well, IBD patients had lower life and healthy life expectancies than individuals without IBD. For life expectancy, this ranged from 6.6-8.1 years for females and 5.0-6.1 years in males, and for healthy life expectancy, it ranged from 9.5-13.5 years for females and 2.6-6.7 years for males. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that although life expectancy is increasing for IBD patients, these individuals continue to have significantly lower life and healthy life expectancies than the general population.

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