Background: Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are associated with reduced health-related quality of life (HRQoL), but findings differ between studies. The aim of this study was to analyse the impact of disease activity and social factors on HRQoL.
Method: A total of 513 patients diagnosed with UC and CD between 2003 and 2004, in a population-based setting, were followed for 7 years. HRQoL was assessed using the Short Form-12, the Short Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Questionnaire (SIBDQ), the Work Productivity and Activity Impairment Questionnaire: General Health and a national health survey. Associations were assessed using multiple linear regressions.
Results: A total of 185 of the eligible patients (UC: 107 (50.2%) and CD: 78 (50.3%)) were included. No differences in disease-specific or generic HRQoL were found between CD and UC patients, and IBD patients did not differ compared with the background population. The majority of CD (73.1%) and UC (85.0%) patients had 'good' disease-specific HRQoL using the SIBDQ. Unemployment for???3 months occurred more in CD vs UC patients(30.6 vs 15.5%, p?=?0.03); however, sick leave for???3 months did not differ significantly (17.4 vs 11.4%, p?=?0.4). Using multiple linear regressions, unemployment, sick leave and disease activity were the factors most frequently associated with reduced HRQoL.
Conclusion: In a population-based cohort with 7 years of follow-up, HRQoL did not differ between patients and the background population.