[en] Age of Onset ; Disease Progression ; Humans ; Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/pathology/physiopathology/therapy ; Middle Aged ; Smoking/adverse effects
[en] While therapeutic strategies able to change the natural history of the disease are developing, it is of major importance to have available predictive factors for aggressive disease to try and target these therapeutic strategies. Clinical predictors have probably been the most broadly studied. In both Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), age at diagnosis, disease location and smoking habit are currently the strongest predictors of disease course. A younger age at onset is associated with more aggressive disease both in CD and UC. Disease location in CD is associated with different types of complications: surgery and recurrence in upper gastrointestinal and proximal small bowel disease; and surgery in distal small bowel disease and peri-anal lesions in rectal disease. In UC, extensive colitis is clearly been associated with more severe disease. Finally, active smoking globally increases disease severity in CD but decreases it in UC. Besides these important factors, others may predispose to some specific disease evolution and complications, and are also reviewed in the present paper.