P290 Long-term disease outcome of ulcerative colitis (UC) in South Ostrobothnia, Finland with a follow-up time of 25 years

K. Kontola1, P. Oksanen2, H. Huhtala3, H. Tunturi-Hihnala1, A. Jussila4

1The Research Group of Gastrointestinal Disorders, 1The Hospital District of South OstroBothnia, Internal Medicine, Seinäjoki, Finland, 2Tampere University- Tampere University Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere, Finland, 3Tampere University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Tampere, Finland, 4Tampere University Hospital, Department of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, Tampere, Finland


Finland has one of the highest prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially UC. There is scarce data about long-term disease outcome in UC in population-based cohorts. The aim was to evaluate the long-term clinical outcome of patients with UC in the region of South Ostrobothnia, a district in rural central western Finland with a population of about 190 000.


All patients treated with diagnosis of UC or IBDU (inflammatory bowel disease Unclassified) during years 1981–2000 were included in this study. Data were collected retrospectively from the patient registry of the Central Hospital of South Ostrobothnia until 1 August 2019.


There were 589 patients with a median follow-up time of 25 years. Median age at the diagnosis was 34 years. 59% of patients were male, 93% had UC and 7% IBDU. According to Montreal classification 80% had extensive disease, 15% left-sided disease and 5% proctitis. Medical treatment used at any point during the disease is shown in Table 1.

MedicationPercentage of patients
5-ASA or sulfasalazine97
Systemic steroids69
TNF-alfa inhibitors1.4

Twenty-two per cent of patients had colectomy. Of operated patients, (pan)proctocolectomy with ileostomy was performed to 50%, IPAA (ileal pouch anal anastomosis) to 40% and IRA (ileorectal anastomosis) to 3%. Median time from the diagnosis to surgery was 11 years; the risk of surgery is shown in Table 2.

Years from diagnosisCumulative risk of colectomy(%)

Twenty-six per cent of the operations were emergency surgeries. The mean age at the time of surgery was 49 years. The indications for colectomy are specified in Table 3.

Indication for colectomyPercentage of operated patients
Refractory disease48.8
Colorectal cancer (CRC)14.2
Not recorded17.3

Cumulative risk of colorectal cancer (CRC) and biliary tract cancer was 3.2% and 1.7%, respectively. Twenty-eight per cent of patients died during follow-up, at the mean age of 72 years. The cause of death was recorded for 91/167 and the most common causes were cardiovascular disease and malignancy.


In this population-based cohort with surveillance of 25 years 22% patients with UC or IBDU were operated. Even after becoming available, biological medication is rarely used for UC patients diagnosed in the prebiologic era.