Between 1977 and January 1991, 400 patients were entered on the United Kingdom Home Parenteral Nutrition (HPN) Register. Almost half suffered from Crohn's disease. Most commenced HPN while between 20-50 years of age. In terms of life quality while on HPN, most (63%) were able to work or look after their families unaided. A further 89 (22%) were able to cope with HPN independently. 221 patients ceased HPN during the study period, mostly (41%) due to intestinal adaptation. Of 69 patients who died, over half (57%) did so due to disease progression. Complications of HPN resulted in death in 22% of this subgroup. In terms of specific disease groups, those with Crohn's disease had the lowest mortality rate (8%).