Incidence Rates for Surgery in Crohn

Dittrich AE1, Sutton RT1, Haynes K1, Wang H2, Fedorak RN1, Kroeker KI1. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2020 Jan 2. pii: izz315. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izz315. [Epub ahead of print]


Author information

1 Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.

2 Department of Surgery, Division of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada.


BACKGROUND: Many Crohn's disease (CD) patients will undergo surgery over the course of their life. It is thought that with the introduction of disease-modifying agents like anti-TNF therapy, there would be a population-level decrease in the need for surgery. This time-trend study aimed to assess the changes in surgical rates following the induction of anti-TNF therapy.

METHODS: Adult CD patients who underwent abdominal surgery (identified by administrative coding) between January of 1996 and December of 2013 at 1 of the 4 Edmonton-area hospitals were included. Patient charts were manually reviewed to confirm diagnosis and gather demographic and disease-related data. Population-adjusted annual incidence rates for IBD surgery were calculated by dividing the number of surgeries by estimates for total population of CD patients in Edmonton. Time-trend analysis was conducted to identify change points, calculate annual percent change (APC), and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs).

RESULTS: A total of 1410 patients with Crohn's disease underwent surgery for their disease. The surgical rate decreased by 8.4% each year (95% CI, -9.6% to -7.3%). There was a 36.2% increase in the use of anti-TNF therapy per year (95% CI, 31.3% to 41.5%). Changes in modifiable risk factors for surgery were also seen, including the proportion of active smokers decreasing by 2.2% per year (95% CI, -3.7% to -0.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: Although anti-TNF therapy seems to play a role, the decrease in surgical trends is likely multifactorial, owing to a decline in smoking trends, earlier diagnosis, earlier treatment, improved patient education, and changes in clinical practice.

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