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Surgicaluality of life with inflammatory bowel disease has not been well examined. Recently, a questionnaire to determine subjective health status for patients with inflammatory bowel disease has been developed and verified. To examine the quality of life in a group of “well” outpatients with inflammatory bowel disease, we developed a self-administered form of this questionnaire containing 36 questions identifiable to five dimensions: systemic symptoms, bowel symptoms, functional impairment, social impairment, and emotional function. We identified outpatients with inflammatory bowel disease through the local chapter of the Ileitis and Colitis Foundation and distributed 396 questionnaires, by mail, with 182 being returned completed (46% response rate). Forty-eight age- and sex-matched controls filled out and returned an identical questionnaire. Response options for each question were framed on a seven-point scale in which 7 represented best function and 1 represented worst function. Male-to-female ratio and mean age were similar to those of controls for the inflammatory bowel disease group. In each dimension, as well as globally, the quality of life of patients with inflammatory bowel disease was significantly worse than that for their age- and sex-matched controls. In conclusion, this survey demonstrates that inflammatory bowel disease adversely affects quality of life in a highly motivated group of “well” outpatients when compared to an age- and sex-matched population.