Introduction: Biologic therapy is widely used for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and may decrease surgery rates. However, it remains uncertain if there is unwarranted geographic variation in access to biologic therapy. The aim of the study was to explore if all patients had equal access to biologic therapy in the North Denmark Region.

Methods: A cross-sectional register-based study of use of biologics, hospital contacts and surgery among all IBD patients having a hospital contact in the geographically well-defined North Denmark Region during 2016-2018. ICD-10 diagnosis codes, hospital contacts and procedure codes were retrieved from the region's hospital registry. The population is served by an Academic Hospital and two Non-Academic Hospitals constituting three referral areas (according to postal codes).

Results: In total, 2371 patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 1383 patients with Crohn's disease (CD) had a hospital contact in the region during 2016-2018. Compared to patients from the Academic Hospital, patients from the Non-Academic Hospitals experienced a lower incidence of biologic therapy for UC IRR 0.786 (0.621: 0.994), as well as for CD IRR 0.912 (0.781: 1.065). The incidence of bowel related hospital contacts were higher in patients from Non-Academic hospitals for both UC IRR 1.318 (1.207: 1.438) and CD IRR 1.165 (0.915: 1.483).

Conclusions: Patients with IBD living in a referral area to a Non-Academic Hospital in the North Denmark Region are less likely to receive biologics. This was associated with an increased prevalence of IBD related surgical procedures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)477-482
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • academic
  • biological
  • Crohn’s disease
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • non-academic
  • rural
  • therapy
  • ulcerative colitis
  • “biological products”


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