OP28 Children and young adults with inflammatory bowel disease have an increased incidence and risk of developing mental health conditions: a UK population-based cohort study

Cooney, R.(1)*;Tang, D.(2);Barrett, K.(3);Russell, R.K.(4);

(1)Queen Elizabeth Hospital- Birmingham- UK, Department of Gastroenterology, Birmingham, United Kingdom;(2)Pfizer Ltd, Walton Oaks- Dorking Road, Tadworth, United Kingdom;(3)New Road Surgery, 166 New Road- Croxley Green, Rickmansworth, United Kingdom;(4)Royal Hospital for Children and Young People, Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Edinburgh, United Kingdom;


While it is widely recognised that inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is associated with depression and anxiety, the burden of mental health conditions in children and young adults with IBD remains unclear. This study assessed this burden using UK population-based data.


A retrospective observational study was performed using a large UK primary care dataset (Optimum Patient Care Research Database). Children and young adults aged 5–25 years diagnosed with IBD between 2010 and 2020 were propensity score matched with up to four population controls. The association between IBD and incident depression, anxiety disorder (AD), eating disorders, body image disorders, attention-deficit disorders, behavioural disorders, adjustment disorders, acute stress disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), self-harm, parasuicide (including suicide), sleep disturbance and ‘any mental health condition’ (a composite consisting of all these mental health conditions) was investigated. Absolute risk was derived using Kaplan-Meier analysis. Relative risk of all outcomes up to 10-years in the IBD cohort versus controls was estimated using adjusted Cox proportional hazards models controlling for age, sex, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and other conditions (asthma, atopic dermatitis, allergic rhinitis, thyroid disease, epilepsy, diabetes mellitus, cancer, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, and psoriatic arthritis).


3,898 young patients with incident IBD were matched to 15,571 controls. IBD patients were significantly more likely to develop PTSD (adjusted Hazard Ratio [aHR] 2.47, 95% CI 1.23-4.94), eating disorders (aHR 1.85, 95% CI 1.05-3.26), self-harm (aHR 1.49, 95% CI 1.00-2.21), sleep disturbance (aHR 1.40, 95% CI 1.15-1.71), depression (aHR 1.34, 95% CI 1.16- 1.56), AD (aHR 1.25, 95% CI 1.06-1.48), and ‘any mental health condition’ (aHR 1.28, 95% CI 1.12-1.46) (Figure 1). In subgroup analysis, male sex, and IBD patients aged 12 to 17 appear to have the greatest additional risk for developing mental health conditions (Figure 2) and Crohn’s disease had a higher risk than ulcerative colitis (aHR 1.32, 95% CI 1.10-1.58 and aHR 1.19, 95% CI 0.95-1.49 respectively).


Young IBD patients have a significantly higher incidence and risk of new mental health conditions. Mental health remains a critically overlooked aspect of IBD patient management. Further research into identifying optimal monitoring tools and support for these patients is required to improve patient care.