Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology
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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 182-187

Opioid use is associated with decreased quality of life in patients with Crohn's disease

1 Department of Medicine, Western University, Victoria Hospital, London, ON, Canada
2 Faculty of Health Science, McMaster University, W Hamilton, ON, Canada
3 Division of Gastroenterology, Western University, Victoria Hospital, London, ON, Canada

Correspondence Address:
Dr. David Sanford
Department of Medicine, Western University, Room E6-208, Victoria Hospital, 800 Commissioners Road East, P. O. Box 5010, London ON, N6A 5W9
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Source of Support: This study received a $5000 grant from the GI Fund, which is a grant to support research through the Division of Gastroenterology at Western University, Canada., Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1319-3767.133020

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Background/Aims: Quality of life is an important consideration in the management of patients with Crohn's disease. Previous studies suggest that Crohn's disease patients using opioids may have decreased quality of life and increased risk of mortality. Our aim was to determine the association between health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and opioid use in patients with Crohn's disease while controlling for disease severity. Patients and Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study recruiting Crohn's disease patients at our center. Disease activity was measured using the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI), and HRQoL was measured using the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Questionnaire (IBDQ). Results: We enrolled 38 Crohn's disease patients using opioids and 62 patients not using opioids. Patients using opioids had an increased duration of disease (median 18.5 vs. 9 years, P = 0.005), increased surgeries related to Crohn's disease (median 3 vs. 0, P < 0.001), and increased prednisone use (29% vs. 11.3%, P = 0.03). Patients using opioids had increased disease activity (median HBI score 9.0 vs. 3.0, P < 0.001). Quality of life was lower in patients using opioids (mean IBDQ score 109.3 vs. 162.9, P < 0.001). This finding was significant when controlling for HBI scores, number of previous surgeries, and prednisone use (P = 0.003). Conclusions: Opioid use in Crohn's disease patients appears to be associated with disease activity and severity. HRQoL is markedly decreased in patients using opioids and this association is significant even when controlling for variables reflecting disease severity. Our findings suggest that Crohn's disease patients using opioids are likely to be significantly impacted by their disease.

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