BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The health consequences of coronavirus disease 2019 [COVID-19] among patients with ulcerative colitis [UC] and Crohn's disease [CD] remain largely unknown. We aimed to investigate the outcomes and long-term effects of COVID-19 in patients with UC or CD.
METHODS: We conducted a prospective, population-based study covering all Danish patients with CD or UC and confirmed COVID-19 between January 28, 2020 and April 1, 2021, through medical records and questionnaires.
RESULTS: All 319 patients with UC and 197 patients with CD who developed COVID-19 in Denmark were included in this study and compared with the Danish background population with COVID-19 [N = 230 087]. A significantly higher risk of COVID-19-related hospitalization was observed among patients with UC (N = 46 [14.4%], relative risk [RR] = 2.49 [95% confidence interval, CI, 1.91-3.26]) and CD (N = 24 [12.2%], RR = 2.11 [95% CI 1.45-3.07]) as compared with the background population (N = 13 306 [5.8%]). A similar pattern was observed for admission to intensive care (UC: N = 8 [2.51%], RR = 27.88 [95% CI 13.88-56.00]; CD: N = 3 [1.52%], RR = 16.92 [95% CI 5.46-52.46]). After a median of 5.1 months (interquartile range [IQR] 4.5-7.9), 58 [42.3%] and 39 [45.9%] patients with UC and CD, respectively, reported persisting symptoms which were independently associated with discontinuation of immunosuppressive therapies during COVID-19 (odds ratio [OR] = 1.50 [95% CI 1.07-10.22], p = 0.01) and severe COVID-19 (OR = 2.76 [95% CI 1.05-3.90], p = 0.04), but not with age or presence of comorbidities.
CONCLUSION: In this population-based study of 516 patients with IBD and COVID-19, 13.6% needed hospitalization and 2.1% required intensive care. Furthermore, sequelae were frequent, affecting 43.7% of COVID-19-infected patients. These findings might have implications for planning the healthcare of patients in the post-COVID-19 era.