Female patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases are treated less frequently with immunosuppressive medication and have a higher disease activity: a subgroup analysis of a large multi-centre, prospective, internet-based study.
ABSTRACT The introduction of immunosuppressants and biologic agents has led to active debate and research about optimal therapeutic strategies considering risk factors and predictors of clinical outcome in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Data about gender-specific treatment differences and risk factors is lacking for IBD. The aim of the present study was to evaluate gender-related differences in the treatment of a distinct IBD patient population treated in the Rhein-Main region, Germany.
Data about past medical history, disease status and medical treatment of 986 outpatients treated in ten gastroenterological practices and three hospitals were collected from November 1st 2005-July 31st 2007 and analyzed with regard to gender-related differences in therapy and disease management.
With the exception of an extended disease duration in women, no significant gender-related differences in demographic and clinical characteristics were observed. Men showed a significantly higher remission rate than women (p=0.025), while women received significantly less immunosuppressive medication compared to men (p=0.011). In addition, treatment with immunosuppressants was not different in women with child-bearing potential compared to menopausal women.
Our investigation demonstrates for the first time gender-specific differences in the therapeutic management in a large cohort of IBD patients.