Background & Aims: Limited data are available on the hospitalization rates in population-based studies. Since this is a very important outcome measure, the aim of this study was to analyze prospectively if early hospitalization is associated with the later disease course as well as to determine the prevalence and predictors of hospitalization and re-hospitalization in the population-based ulcerative colitis (UC) inception cohort in the Veszprem province database between 2000 and 2012.

Methods: Data of 347 incident UC patients diagnosed between January 1, 2000 and December 31, 2010 were analyzed (M/F: 200/147, median age at diagnosis: 36, IQR: 26-50 years, follow-up duration: 7, IQR 4-10 years). Both in- and outpatient records were collected and comprehensively reviewed.

Results: Probabilities of first UC-related hospitalization were 28.6%, 53.7% and 66.2% and of first re-hospitalization were 23.7%, 55.8% and 74.6% after 1-, 5- and 10- years of follow-up, respectively. Main UC-related causes for first hospitalization were diagnostic procedures (26.7%), disease activity (22.4%) or UC-related surgery (4.8%), but a significant percentage was unrelated to IBD (44.8%). In Kaplan-Meier and Cox-regression analysis disease extent at diagnosis (HR extensive: 1.79, p=0.02) or at last follow-up (HR: 1.56, p=0.001), need for steroids (HR: 1.98, p<0.001), azathioprine (HR: 1.55, p=0.038) and anti-TNF (HR: 2.28, p<0.001) were associated with the risk of UC-related hospitalization. Early hospitalization was not associated with a specific disease phenotype or outcome; however, 46.2% of all colectomies were performed in the year of diagnosis.

Conclusion: Hospitalization and re-hospitalization rates were relatively high in this population-based UC cohort. Early hospitalization was not predictive for the later disease course.


ulcerative colitis, population-based, hospitalization, disease course, predictors