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BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoking is a known risk factor for recurrence of Crohn's disease after surgical resection. OBJECTIVE: This study assessed the effect of smoking cessation on long-term surgical recurrence after primary ileocolic resection for Crohn's disease. DESIGN: A retrospective review of a prospectively maintained database was conducted. SETTINGS: Patient demographic data and medical and surgical details were combined from 2 specialist centers. After ethical approval, patients were contacted in case of missing data regarding smoking habit. PATIENTS: All patients undergoing ileocolic resection between 2000 and 2012 for histologically confirmed Crohn's disease were included. Those with previous intestinal resection, strictureplasty for Crohn's disease, leak after ileocolic resection, or who were never reversed were excluded. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary end point was surgical recurrence measured by Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and secondary medical therapy at time of follow-up. RESULTS: Over a 12-year period, 290 patients underwent ileocolic resection. Full smoking data were available for 242 (83%) of 290 patients. There were 169 nonsmokers (70%; group 1), 42 active smokers at the time of ileocolic resection who continued smoking up to last follow-up (17%; group 2), and 31 (13%) who quit smoking after ileocolic resection (group 3). The median time of smoking exposure after ileocolic resection for group 3 was 3 years (interquartile range, 0-6 y), and median follow-up time for the whole group was 112 months (9 mo; interquartile range, 84-148 mo). Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed a significantly higher surgical recurrence rate for group 2 compared with group 3 (16/42 (38%) vs 3/31 (10%); p = 0.02; risk ratio = 3.9 (95% CI, 1-12)). In addition, significantly more patients in group 2 without surgical recurrence received immunomodulatory maintenance therapy compared with group 3 (12/26 (46%) vs 4/28 (14%); p = 0.01; risk ratio = 3.2 (95% CI, 1-9)). LIMITATIONS: The study was limited by its retrospective design and small number of patients. CONCLUSIONS: Smoking cessation after primary ileocolic resection for Crohn's disease may significantly reduce long-term risk of surgical recurrence and is associated with less use of maintenance therapy. See Video Abstract at

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Journal article


Dis Colon Rectum

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