October 25, 2019
2 min read

IBD prevalence in the UK significantly higher than previous estimates

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In the United Kingdom, the prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease has increased significantly since 2000 and is expected to keep rising, according to study results presented at UEG Week.

Dominic King, of the University of Birmingham, and colleagues analyzed data from the Health Improvement Network — a primary care database of 750 general practices in the U.K. — to establish accurate data and determine the impact of IBD.

“Our study suggests that IBD prevalence is likely to rise substantially over the next decade,” King said in a press release. “As there is currently no known cure for IBD, patients will often need complex and costly treatments throughout their lives. This predicted rise in prevalence may place an even greater strain on already overburdened health care systems.”

In addition to calculating incidence and prevalence rates among adults aged 18 years and older between 2000 and 2016, researchers also determined mortality and colorectal cancer incidence rates for patients with IBD compared with matched controls.

In more than 8 million total individuals, investigators observed 16,765 incident cases of Crohn’s disease and 24,410 incident cases of ulcerative colitis.

While the overall incidence of CD fell by 3% over the study period, the point prevalence of CD increased from 218 to 414 per 100,000 population from 2000 to 2016. The prevalence was higher in women (460 per 100,000) than in men (370 per 100,000).

As in CD, the overall prevalence of UC also fell over the course of the study period, with a decrease of 4% from 2000 to 2016. The prevalence of UC rose from 380 to 640 per 100,000 from 2000 to 2016.

Compared with matched controls, patients with CD (incidence rate ratio = 1.26; 95% CI, 1.04–1.51) and UC (IRR = 1.48; 95% CI, 1.32–1.67) had higher rates of CRC. Mortality was also higher among patients with CD (HR = 1.41; 95% CI, 1.35–1.47) and UC (HR = 1.17; 95% CI, 1.14–1.21) compared with matched controls.

In the release, Salvo Leone, president of the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations, called the results of the study “alarming,” since IBD can start at a young age and impact an individual for their entire life.

“The cost to society, either through direct medical costs or indirect costs such as lost days at work, lost educational opportunities, or caring for an affected family member, are enormous,” Leone said. “We need to put all our efforts into developing effective treatment and disease management strategies that allow patients and their families to lead happier and healthier lives.” – by Alex Young


King D, et al. Abstract OP059. Presented at: UEG Week; Oct. 19-23, 2019; Barcelona.

Disclosure s: The authors report no relevant financial disclosures.