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Impact of gastroenterologist care on health outcomes of hospitalised ulcerative colitis patients


Objectives — To evaluate the impact of in-hospital gastroenterologist care, relative to other provider care, on health outcomes of hospitalised ulcerative colitis (UC) patients.

Design — A population-based cohort study of 4278 UC patients hospitalised between 2002 and 2008 was conducted in Ontario, Canada. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality risk.

Results — UC patients admitted under non-gastroenterologists had a higher in-hospital mortality rate (1.1 vs 0.2%, p<0.0001) but a similar in-hospital colectomy rate (5.4% vs 4.9%, p=0.69) as compared to UC patients admitted under gastroenterologists. Following covariate adjustment, non-gastroenterologist care was associated with a greater in-hospital mortality risk relative to gastroenterologist care (adjusted OR (aOR) 3.28, 95% CI 1.03 to 10.5). This increased mortality risk was observed in patients admitted to other internists (OR 5.49, 95% CI 1.75 to 17.2) and general practitioners (OR 6.02, 95% CI 1.84 to 19.7), with a trend towards greater mortality risk among patients admitted to general surgeons (OR 3.49, 95% CI 0.90 to 13.6). Among patients who were discharged from hospital colectomy-free, those who were admitted under non-gastroenterologists had a greater one-year risk of death than patients who were admitted under gastroenterologists (adjusted HR 2.07, 95% CI 1.26 to 3.40). The type of hospital provider did not impact in-hospital or one-year colectomy risks or the risk of hospital re-admission in this cohort.

Conclusions — Primary in-hospital gastroenterologist care was associated with decreased in-hospital and one-year mortality risks among hospitalised UC patients. Optimised care strategies by experienced specialists may confer important health advantages in this patient population.



Murthy SK, Steinhart AH, Tinmouth J, Austin PC, Nguyen GC. Gut. 2012; 61(10):1410-6. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

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