Gut 63:771-775 doi:10.1136/gutjnl-2013-304766
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Original article

Mortality and causes of death in Crohn's disease: results from 20 years of follow-up in the IBSEN study

  1. 1Department of Gastroenterology, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Gjøvik, Oppland, Norway
  2. 2Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Department of Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
  4. 4Department of Gastroenterology, Østfold Hospital, Fredrikstad, Norway
  5. 5Department of Internal Medicine, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Øistein Hovde, Department of Gastroenterology, Innlandet Hospital Trust, Gjøvik, Kyrre Greppsgt 19, Gjøvik 2819, Norway; oistein.hovde{at}
  • Received 26 February 2013
  • Revised 10 May 2013
  • Accepted 11 May 2013
  • Published Online First 6 June 2013


Objective Population-based studies have shown a slightly decreased life expectancy in patients with Crohn's disease (CD). The primary aim of the present study was to evaluate mortality and causes of death 20 years after the diagnosis in a well defined population-based cohort of CD patients in Norway.

Design The Inflammatory Bowel South-Eastern Norway study has prospectively followed all patients diagnosed with CD in the period between 1 January 1990 and 31 December 1993 in four geographically well-defined areas. All patients (n=237) were age and sex matched with 25 persons from the same county selected at random from the general population. Data on death and causes of deaths were collected from the Norwegian Causes of Death Register. All causes and cause-specific mortality (gastrointestinal cancer, cancer and heart disease) were modelled with Cox regression model stratified by matched sets. Results are expressed as HRs with 95% CIs.

Results There was no significant difference between CD patients and controls in overall mortality (HR=1.35, 95% CI 0.94 to 1.94, p=0.10). Furthermore, there were no marked differences in deaths from gastrointestinal cancer, other cancers or cardiovascular diseases in the CD group compared with the controls. In the CD group, 13.9% had died compared with 12.7% in the control group (p=0.578).

Conclusions In our population-based inception cohort followed for 20 years, there was no increased mortality or more deaths from cancer compared with the general population.