Remission on thiopurinic immunomodulators normalizes quality of life and psychological status in patients with Crohn's disease

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Thiopurinic immunomodulators are effective for maintaining symptom remission in Crohn's disease. Little is known, however, about their effect on patients' quality of life or psychological well-being. The present study aimed to determine whether remission induced by thiopurinic immunomodulators returns levels of quality of life and psychological well-being to normal.

Materials and Methods:

A case-control study was performed. Cases were 33 patients with Crohn's disease treated with azathioprine or 6-mercaptopurine and in stable remission for at least 6 months. Sixty-six healthy individuals matched 2:1 by age and sex and 14 patients with active Crohn's disease were included as control groups. Quality of life was evaluated with the Short Form (SF-36) questionnaire, and the respective Hamilton rating scales were used for anxiety and depression. ANOVA with Bonferroni's correction was used for multiple comparisons.


SF-36 global scores were 85 in the study group, 85 in healthy controls (P = 1), and 58.6 in patients with active disease (P < 0.001 for the comparison with the other 2 groups). The differences between values were 0 (95% CI −4-4), 26.4 (95% CI 20–32), and 26.4 (95% CI 19–33), respectively. The respective anxiety and depression scores were 6.5, 5.5, and 16.2 and 3.7, 3.3, and 10.9. No significant differences were observed in any of the SF-36 domains between case and control groups, whereas in patients with active disease, all domains were significantly worse.


Thiopurinic immunomodulator-induced remission restores normal levels of quality of life and psychological well-being in Crohn's disease patients.

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