Amongst 300 patients with Crohn's disease followed between 1944 and 1968, corticosteroids or corticotrophin was given to 124 patients, to 87 of them for more than 12 months. In the short-term assessment of 89 of these patients, 76% improved clinically within six months, but within 12 months 29% of these had relapsed. In the long term, the risk of operation each year for the patients treated with steroids was twice that of those not treated. There was a significantly increased mortality rate in the patients treated with steroids which in part was due to complications induced by this therapy for which no evidence of long-term benefit emerged from this study.
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