Background and aims: Complications associated with Crohn's disease (CD) are common and influence treatment decisions and outcomes. Appropriate early treatment may offer a therapeutic advantage to patients. The aim of our study was to indentify predictive factors for occurrence of complications at the time of CD diagnosis.
Methods: The study population consisted of 269 CD patients treated during a ten year period. Risk factors compared between complicated and non-complicated disease included phenotypical characteristics, disease classification and the presence of NOD2/CARD15 mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms in selected autophagy and phagosome genes.
Results: Complete data was obtained for 146 patients with an average follow up of 12 years. Sixty five patients (44%) developed a complication during follow up. The only independent risk factors associated with developing a complication were smoking and male gender. There was no association between developing complications and the presence of selected SNPs (P = 0.07 for Tyrosine residue on both alleles in NCF4 SNP rs4821544 and P = 0.06 for a Guanine residue on both alleles in ATG16L SNP rs2241880). Multivariate analysis using a backwards logistic regression model left only male gender as an independent statistically significant association with complicated disease (OR 2.6017, 95% CI: 1.17 to 5.75). The median time to developing a complication was 4 years, and the most common complication was the need for surgical intervention (54%).
Conclusions: In the present study, a risk factor for developing CD complication was male gender. Further studies are warranted to assess additional risk factors and how such findings should affect therapy.
Research highlights: ▸ The aim of our study was to indentify predictive factors for complications of Crohn's disease. ▸ Genetic and phenotypic information on presentation were analyzed. ▸ Risk factors for developing CD complication were male gender and smoking status. ▸ No predictive genetic markers were indetified.