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Predictors of Emergency Department Use by Persons with Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Population-based Study

Nugent, Zoann PhD; Singh, Harminder MD, MPH; Targownik, Laura E. MD; Strome, Trevor MS; Snider, Carolyn MD, MPH; Bernstein, Charles N. MD

doi: 10.1097/MIB.0000000000000965
Original Clinical Articles

Background: To describe the patterns and predictors of emergency department (ED) attendance and post-ED hospitalization by persons with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Methods: We linked the University of Manitoba IBD Epidemiology Database with the Emergency Department Information System of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority to determine the rates of presentation to the ED by persons with IBD from January 01, 2009 to March 31, 2012. Incident cases were diagnosed during the study period and all others were considered prevalent cases. Multivariate logistic regression was used to determine predictors of attendance in the ED and for hospitalization within 2 days of ED attendance.

Results: The study population included 300 incident and 3394 prevalent IBD cases, of whom 76% and 49%, respectively, attended the ED at least once during the study period. Incident cases with Crohn's disease or with a history of opioid use were more likely to attend the ED. Those who had seen a gastroenterologist within the year before diagnosis were less likely to visit the ED. Among prevalent cases, higher comorbidity, opioid or corticosteroid use, and recent hospital admission were predictive of ED attendance and those who saw only 1 physician in the preceding year had lower ED attendance. Presenting to the ED with a primary gastrointestinal complaint was the strongest predictor of subsequent hospital admission.

Conclusions: ED attendance by both incident and prevalent cases of IBD is high. Identified predictors of ED attendance and post-ED hospitalization could guide the optimization of outpatient IBD care to limit ED attendance and potentially post-ED hospitalization.

Article first published online 8 November 2016.

*CancerCare Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada;

University of Manitoba IBD Clinical and Research Centre, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Winnipeg, MB, Canada;

Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Winnipeg, MB, Canada; and

§Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Manitoba, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, Winnipeg, MB, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Charles N. Bernstein, MD, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Manitoba, University of Manitoba IBD Clinical and Research Centre, Winnipeg, MB R3E3P4, Canada (e-mail:

Supported by Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Manitoba Research Grant.

H. Singh has served on the advisory board of Pendopharm and received research funding from Merck Canada. L. E. Targownik has served on the advisory boards for Pfizer Canada, Takeda Canada, Abbvie Canada, and Janssen Canada and on Speaker's Panels for Janssen Canada, Takeda Canada, and Pfizer Canada and has received grant support from Pfizer Canada and Abbvie Canada. C. N. Bernstein has served on advisory boards or consulted to Abbvie Canada, Ferring Canada, Janssen Canada, Pfizer Canada, Shire Canada, Takeda Canada, Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers Squibb and has received unrestricted educational grants from Abbvie Canada, Janssen Canada, Shire Canada, and Takeda Canada. The remaining authors have no conflict of interest to disclose.

Received September 05, 2016

Accepted September 07, 2016

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.
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