Management of inflammatory bowel disease: 30 years of observation

Author and Disclosure Information


Management of inflammatory bowel disease has become more precise and effective in the last 30 years, ensuring long, productive lives for most patients. Data such as family history, duration of disease, the onset of complications, and type of therapy are presented from 450 patients with inflammatory bowel disease treated during a 10-year period ending in 1984. The incidence of general complications over three decades is compared. Perianal disease and intestinal obstructions dominate complications of Crohn’s disease. The most common nongastrointestinal complication for patients with either disease is monarticular large joint arthritis. Approximately 75% of patients with Crohn’s disease will eventually undergo surgery. In the first decade of data collection, 50% of patients with ulcerative colitis had surgery; in the second decade, 26%; and in the third decade, 39%. The changing percentages correspond initially to advances in medical therapy and then to advances in surgical therapy.



Next Article: