Mortality and causes of death in Crohn's disease: follow-up of a population-based cohort in Copenhagen County, Denmark

Gastroenterology. 2002 Jun;122(7):1808-14. doi: 10.1053/gast.2002.33632.


Background & aims: A population-based cohort comprising 374 patients with Crohn's disease diagnosed in Copenhagen County between 1962 and 1987 was observed until 1997 for mortality and causes of death.

Methods: Observed deaths were compared with expected deaths calculated by using individually computed person-years at risk and 1995 rates for Copenhagen County. Cumulative survival curves were calculated.

Results: A total of 84 deaths occurred vs. 67 expected (standardized mortality ratio [SMR], 1.3; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01-1.56): 45 women vs. 31.8 expected (SMR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.03-1.89) and 39 men vs. 35.2 expected (SMR, 1.1; 95% CI, 0.79-1.51). An excess mortality was observed among women observed for 21-25 years after diagnosis. Among women aged <50 years at diagnosis, 25 deaths were observed vs. 7.3 expected (SMR, 3.42; 95% CI, 2.21-5.04). Fourteen (31%) of the observed deaths among women and 8 (21%) among men had a certain or possible connection to Crohn's disease. Among causes of death unrelated to Crohn's disease, an overrepresentation of gastrointestinal diseases, infections, and diseases of the urinary organs was observed.

Conclusions: An increased mortality was observed late in the disease course that was most pronounced among women younger than 50 years at diagnosis and was attributed to death associated with severe Crohn's disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Age Distribution
  • Cause of Death
  • Cohort Studies
  • Crohn Disease / mortality*
  • Denmark
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Analysis