Background: Anemia is the most common extraintestinal manifestation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and has been linked to severity of the disease. The aim of the study was to assess the impact of anemia on postoperative outcomes in patients with IBD. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients with IBD from the NSQIP database over an 8-year period. Patients were grouped based on the presence of anemia. The impact of anemia on postoperative morbidity, mortality and length of stay was assessed. Results: A total of 15,761 patients met our criteria. Half of the patients were anemic upon presentation. Anemic patients were more likely to have a history of steroid use, present with sepsis and require an emergency operation. In multivariate analysis, anemia was a significant predictor of overall morbidity, serious morbidity and increased length of stay. Conclusions: Anemic patients with IBD present more often with sepsis and require emergency surgery compared to their peers. In addition, anemia serves as an independent predictor of overall complications, serious morbidity and increased length of stay following abdominal operations.
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