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P345. Systematic evaluation of risk factors for diagnostic delay in inflammatory bowel disease

A. Schoepfer1, S. Spigaglia2, G. Rogler2, V. Pittet1, P. Michetti1, C. Felley1, C. Mottet1, C. Braegger2, D. Rogler2, A. Straumann3, P. Bauerfeind2, M. Fried2, S. Vavricka2

1University Hospital Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 2University Hospital Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 3University Hospital Basel, Basel, Switzerland

Aim: The diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), comprising Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), continues to present difficulties due to unspecific symptoms and limited test accuracies. We aimed to determine the diagnostic delay (time from first symptoms to IBD diagnosis) and to identify associated risk factors in a national cohort in Switzerland.

Materials and Methods: A total of 1,591 IBD patients (932 CD, 625 UC, 34 indeterminate colitis) from the Swiss IBD cohort study (SIBDCS) were evaluated. The SIBDCS collects data on a large sample of IBD patients from hospitals and private practice across Switzerland through physician and patient questionnaires. The primary outcome measure was the diagnostic delay.

Results: Diagnostic delay in CD patients was significantly longer compared to UC patients (median 9 vs. 4 months, P < 0.001). Seventy-five percent of CD patients were diagnosed within 24 months compared to 12 months for UC and 6 months for IC patients. Multivariate logistic regression identified age <40 years at diagnosis (OR 2.15, P = 0.010) and ileal disease (OR 1.69, P = 0.025) as independent risk factors for long diagnostic delay in CD (>24 months). A trend for long diagnostic delay (>12 months) was associated with NSAID intake (OR 1.75, P = 0.093) and male gender (OR 0.59, P = 0.079) in UC patients.

Conclusions: Whereas the median delay for diagnosing CD, UC, and IC seems to be acceptable, there exists a long delay in a considerable proportion of CD patients. More public awareness work needs to be done in order to reduce patient's and doctor's delay in this target population.