Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center
Ulcerative Colitis Resource Center
February 27, 2017
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IBD rates among highest worldwide in Denmark, continue to rise

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The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in Denmark is among the highest in the world and continues to increase, according to new research.

“Our findings demonstrate that inflammatory bowel disease is not only emerging in newly industrialized countries but continues to increase in countries such as Denmark with traditional high incidence rates of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,” Johan Burisch, MD, PhD, of the department of gastroenterology at North Zealand Hospital in Denmark, told Healio Gastroenterology. “The number of patients with IBD is expected to continue to increase as will the burden on the health care system.”

Johan Burisch, MD, PhD

Johan Burisch

Burisch and colleagues analyzed Danish nationwide registry data to characterize trends in IBD incidence between 1980 and 2013.

They found that over this period, the annual incidence of Crohn’s disease increased by about 75%, from 5.2 to 9.1 per 100,000 individuals, while the annual incidence of ulcerative colitis increased by more than 70%, from 10.7 to 18.6 per 100,000 individuals.

The increase in annual incidence rates of Crohn’s disease was highest among patients aged younger than 15 years, while the increase in annual incidence rates of ulcerative colitis was highest among patients aged older than 15 years.

Further, increases in both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis incidence were seen among both sexes, but the incident rates were significantly higher in females.

“As an additional finding, we also demonstrated the importance of choosing the right case definitions in registries such as the Danish national patient registry, as this will impact the findings significantly by over- or underestimating patient numbers,” Burisch said. Using at least two IBD diagnosis records from this registry would provide more valid estimates of IBD incidence, he and colleagues concluded. – by Adam Leitenberger

Disclosures: Burisch reports he has served as a speaker for AbbVie, Takeda and MSD, as well as an advisory board member for AbbVie, Celgene, and Janssen.