Objective: To examine sex differences in medical therapy and clinical outcomes in pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Methods: We performed a cross-sectional analysis of children with Crohn disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) using data from the ImproveCareNow Network collected between May 2007 and May 2010. Clinical remission, disease severity, body mass index (BMI) z scores, normal height velocity, and medication use were analyzed by sex and age.
Results: One thousand four hundred nine patients were included (993 had CD and 416 had UC). No significant sex differences were found in disease severity, BMI, height velocity, or use of medications. Further analysis of combination therapy with infliximab + 6-mercaptopurine/azathioprine and infliximab + methotrexate also did not reveal any differences. No sex differences were found after mediation use was stratified by age (those younger than 13 years and those 13 years old or older).
Conclusions: In this sample of CD and UC pediatric patients, no significant sex differences were found in disease severity, BMI, height velocity, or medication use. Our data do not support the use of sex as a major factor in patient risk stratification for children with IBD. In addition, despite concerns for sex-specific complications of some medications, our analysis did not suggest any sex differences in medication use.