The researchers identified patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease between the years 1964 and 2014 via the Swedish patient register. Using these data, they compared mortality rates in about 9,400 children who developed IBD with those of other children.
Their results show that children who developed IBD before the age of 18 have a three to five-fold higher mortality rate than people without IBD, both during childhood and into adulthood. This translates to a 2.2-year reduction in life expectancy in individuals monitored up to the age of 65.
The international trial included 508 people with Crohn’s disease who had never been treated with immunosuppressive drugs. One-third were given infliximab alone, one-third received only azathioprine and one-third were treated with both. The trial was funded by Centocor Ortho Biotech, which markets infliximab, and Schering-Plough.
After 26 weeks, 56.8 percent of those getting combination therapy had complete remission of symptoms, compared to 44.4 percent of those getting only infliximab and 30 percent of those getting only azathioprine.