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Inflammatory Bowel Disease Increasing in U.S., Europe

Last Updated: January 13, 2012.

The incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease are highest in Europe and North America, and are increasing, according to a review published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

FRIDAY, Jan. 13 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are highest in Europe and North America, and are increasing, according to a review published in the January issue of Gastroenterology.

Natalie A. Molodecky, from the University of Calgary in Canada, and colleagues reviewed the available literature to investigate changes in the worldwide incidence of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) over time. Population-based studies that collected data allowing incidence and prevalence of IBD to be calculated were included. Data were evaluated from 167 studies from Europe, 52 studies from Asia and the Middle East, and 27 studies from North America.

The investigators found that the highest annual incidences of UC were 24.3, 19.2, and 6.3 cases per 100,000 person-years in Europe, North America, and Asia and the Middle East, respectively. The highest annual incidences of CD were 20.2, 12.7, and 5.0 cases per 100,000 person-years in North America, Europe, and Asia and the Middle East, respectively. The highest prevalence of IBD was reported in Europe and North America. Time-trend analyses showed significant increases in incidence in 75 percent of CD studies and 60 percent of UC studies.

"Although there are few epidemiologic data from developing countries, the incidence and prevalence of IBD are increasing with time and in different regions around the world, indicating its emergence as a global disease," the authors write.

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