Sex Differences in Treatment Strategies Among Patients With Ulcerative Colitis: A Retrospective Cohort Analysis of Privately Insured Patients.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Background

Sex-based treatment disparities occur in many diseases. Women undergo fewer procedural interventions, and their care is less consistent with guideline-based therapy. There is limited research exploring sex-based differences in ulcerative colitis treatment. We hypothesized that women are less likely to be treated with strategies consistent with long-term disease remission, including surgery and maintenance medications.

Objective

The aim of this study was to determine if patient sex is associated with choice of treatment strategy for ulcerative colitis.

Design

This is a retrospective cohort analysis.

Setting

Data were gathered from a large commercial insurance claims database from 2007 to 2015.

Patients

We identified a cohort of 38,851 patients newly diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, aged 12 to 64 years with at least 1 year of follow-up.

Main outcome measures

The primary outcomes measured were the differences between male and female patients in 1) rates and types of index ulcerative colitis operations, 2) rates and types of ulcerative colitis medication prescriptions, and 3) rates of opioid prescriptions.

Results

Men were more likely to undergo surgical treatment for ulcerative colitis (2.94% vs 1.97%, p < 0.001, OR 1.51, p < 0.001). The type of index operation performed did not vary by sex. Men were more likely to undergo treatment with maintenance medications, including biologic (12.4% vs 10.2%, p < 0.001, OR 1.22, p < 0.001), immunomodulatory (16.3% vs 14.9%, p < 0.001, OR 1.08, p = 0.006), and 5-aminosalicylate medications (67.0% vs 63.2%, p < 0.001, OR 1.18, p < 0.001). Women were more likely to undergo treatment with rescue therapies and symptomatic control with corticosteroids (55.5% vs 54.0%, p = 0.002, OR 1.07, p = 0.002) and opioids (50.2% vs 45.9%, p < 0.001, OR 1.17, p < 0.001).

Limitations

Claims data lack clinical characteristics acting as confounders.

Conclusions

Men with ulcerative colitis were more likely to undergo treatment consistent with long-term remission or cure, including maintenance medications and definitive surgery. Women were more likely to undergo treatment consistent with short-term symptom management. Further studies to explore underlying mechanisms of sex-related differences in ulcerative colitis treatment strategies and disease trajectories are warranted. See Video Abstract at http://links.lww.com/DCR/A943.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sceats, LA; Morris, AM; Bundorf, MK; Park, KT; Kin, C

Published Date

  • May 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 62 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 586 - 594

PubMed ID

  • 30762599

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC6456369

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1530-0358

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-3706

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1097/dcr.0000000000001342

Language

  • eng