Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center

Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center

August 21, 2014
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US residents with Indian ethnicity had greater risk for IBD

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People with ancestry in the Indian subcontinent living in the United States had the greatest risk for all types of inflammatory bowel disease compared with other ethnicities in the US, according to new research data.

“Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is reportedly rare in both Eastern (China, Korea, Japan) and Southern Asia (the Indian Subcontinent),” Robert M. Genta, MD, of the Miraca Life Sciences Research Institute, Texas, told Healio.com/Gastroenterology.

Robert M. Genta

To address the validity of this reported rarity, Genta and colleagues estimated the prevalence of IBD among different ethnicities. Using a national pathology database they identified individuals throughout the US who had colonoscopy with ileocolonic biopsies evaluated and reported from 2008 through 2013. They determined and compared the prevalence of ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease (CD) and indeterminate colitis (IC) in each group, including Indian, East Asian, Hispanic, Jewish and others (Caucasians and African Americans).

Of 1,005,915 included patients (median age, 60 years; 51% women), 30,812 patients had IBD, including 20,308 with UC, 7,706 with CD and 2,798 with IC. UC had a greater association with Indian (OR=3.79; 95% CI, 3.21-4.47) and Jewish ethnicity (OR=1.5; 95% CI, 1.41-1.59) compared with Hispanic (OR=0.89; 95% CI, 0.83-0.95) and East Asian ancestry (OR=0.53; 95% CI, 0.46-0.62). This pattern persisted when analyzing all types of IBD and Crohn’s disease.

Of the Indian participants, those with origins traced to the Gujarat region had a greater prevalence of IBD (11.7%) vs. Indians from other regions (7.9%; OR=1.55; 95% CI, 1.14-2.11), though the prevalence of severe disease was proportionally similar in both subgroups (14.2%).

“This study suggests that different environmental forces are at play in modulating the susceptibility to these inflammatory diseases in East Asians (who appear to maintain their ancestral low prevalence as they move to the US) and in Indians, who become the group at highest risk,” Genta said. “While the mechanisms that may be involved in these changes are being investigated, gastroenterologists who attend to patients of Indian origin should be aware of their potentially higher risk for IBD.”

Disclosure: Genta; Reenu Malhotra, MD; and Kevin Turner, DO, are employed by Miraca Life Sciences.