Long-term prognosis of ulcerative colitis with onset in childhood or adolescence

J Clin Gastroenterol. 1979 Dec;1(4):301-5. doi: 10.1097/00004836-197912000-00004.


From 1955 through 1974, 336 patients with ulcerative colitis diagnosed before age 21 years were studied. In 93 patients (29%), a blood relative had ulcerative colitis, one case of Crohn's disease being found. The total colon was involved in 63% of patients; the entire colon or all but the rectal stump was removed in 35%. Eighteen patients died, nine of carcinoma of the colon. Sixty-five percent of patients had symptoms for longer than 6 months before the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis. If the diagnosis was delayed more than 24 months, there was a statistically significant correlation with increased rate of operations and complications and less good quality of life. When the 20-year study period was divided into two 10-year periods, the operative and complication rates were significantly different. Early diagnosis and treatment appear to improve the long-term prognosis of young patients with ulcerative colitis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chronic Disease
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / epidemiology*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / genetics
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / surgery
  • Colonic Neoplasms / complications
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prognosis
  • Quality of Life
  • Retrospective Studies