Although inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) [comprising mainly Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC)] is thought to affect about 150 000 people in the United Kingdom, the prevalence of severe IBD is not known. Mortality following hospitalization for IBD is significant but little has been reported on long-term follow-up.
A research article to be published on January 28, 2010 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team from United Kingdom determined the hospitalized prevalence of severe IBD and subsequent 5-year mortality in Wales, and investigated associations between severe IBD and social deprivation, distance travelled to hospital, and other socio-demographic characteristics.
They found that hospitalization for severe CD was more common among women than men and it peaked among younger people aged 16-29 years. UC was similar among men and women and was more common among older people. There was no link between social deprivation and UC, but CD was more common among more deprived social groups.
The differing demographic profiles between CD and UC, suggest that environmental factors play a more significant role in the etiology of CD. The findings of this large population-based study on the prevalence and mortality of IBD are also important for service planning and provision.
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