Inflammatory Bowel Disease during COVID-19 Pandemic: A Prospective Cohort Study of Incidence Rate and Patients’ Concerns

Kamran Bagheri Lankarani, Marjan Roozitalab, Zahra Gholami, Mohammad Yousefi, Sulmaz Ghahramani



 During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, it is imperative to focus on the concerns of patients with chronic diseases regarding the influence of such conditions and medications prescribed for this purpose on their susceptibility to COVID-19 and its severity. This study aimed to evaluate COVID-19 incidence rate, patients’ concerns, sources of information, and medication compliance in a cohort of patients suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).


 In this prospective cohort study, 214 confirmed cases of IBD were followed up within 8 months up to December 20, 2020. In the confirmed cases of COVID-19, the interviews were repeated 3 months later to assess the post-COVID-19 symptoms and conditions.


Among 214 patients with IBD, 113 cases (52.8%) were female, and 169 individuals (79%) were suffering from ulcerative colitis (UC). The mean ± SD scores of commitment to standard preventive guidance on COVID-19 were 81.6±19. Moreover, 147 patients (69%) had further stated at least one critical apprehension. The main sources of their information on COVID-19 were physicians (n=89, 41.5%) and websites (n=71, 33.1%). In addition, 10 patients with IBD were diagnosed as confirmed cases of COVID-19, one of them expired due to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).


 The incidence of COVID-19 in the cohort of the patients with IBD in this study was broadly comparable to the general reference population. Tight adherence to physical distancing, and if possible, encouragements of patients with IBD to do remote work along with the provision of virtual care to them cannot be overemphasized. Physicians and websites can also play crucial roles in providing accurate information to patients affected with IBD, especially in terms of reassurances for medication compliance.

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