Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 1044–1052 | Cite as

The Impact of Ulcerative Colitis on Patients’ Lives Compared to Other Chronic Diseases: A Patient Survey

  • David T. RubinEmail author
  • Marla C. Dubinsky
  • Remo Panaccione
  • Corey A. Siegel
  • David G. Binion
  • Sunanda V. Kane
  • Joseph Hopper
Original Article



This study was designed to identify the impact chronic ulcerative colitis (UC) has on the lives of patients compared to other chronic conditions. Overall, 451 patients with UC, 309 with rheumatoid arthritis, 305 with asthma, and 305 with migraine headaches were recruited in an Internet survey designed to assess a variety of disease-impact indices.


Patients with UC reported a mean of eight (self-defined) flare-ups in the previous 12 months. Significantly more patients with UC (81%) believed that the quantity of flare-ups they experienced was ‘normal’, compared to patients with migraine headaches (64%) or asthma (75%). Patients with UC also reported significantly more worry about disease complications (84%), depression (62%), and embarrassment (70%) than patients with the other chronic conditions.


Compared to patients with other chronic conditions, patients with UC perceive substantially more negative impact upon their lives, especially with regard to the psychological burden.


Chronic disease Disease burden Quality of life Ulcerative colitis 



Ulcerative colitis


Ulcerative colitis: new observations on remission, management and lifestyle


Rheumatoid arthritis



The authors acknowledge the contribution of Duncan Campbell PhD (GeoMed) for medical writing support, and Sarah Wright (GeoMed) for editorial assistance. This study was funded by Shire Pharmaceuticals Inc., Wayne, PA, USA.

Supplementary material

10620_2009_953_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (279 kb)
(PDF 279 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David T. Rubin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marla C. Dubinsky
    • 2
  • Remo Panaccione
    • 3
  • Corey A. Siegel
    • 4
  • David G. Binion
    • 5
  • Sunanda V. Kane
    • 6
  • Joseph Hopper
    • 7
  1. 1.Section of Gastroenterology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Chicago Medical CenterChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Pediatric IBDCedars-Sinai Medical CenterLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Division of GastroenterologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  4. 4.Section of Gastroenterology and HepatologyDartmouth-Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
  5. 5.Division of Gastroenterology and HepatologyUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  6. 6.Mayo Clinic College of MedicineRochesterUSA
  7. 7.Versta ResearchEvanstonUSA

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