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Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Sep;99(9):1749-55.

Incidence of inflammatory bowel disease is rising and abdominal tuberculosis is falling in Bangladeshis in East London, United Kingdom.

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Academic Departments of Adult and Paediatric Gastroenterology and of Histopathology, Barts and The London, Queen Mary School of Medicine and Dentistry, London, UK.

Erratum in

  • Am J Gastroenterol. 2005 Jan;100(1):255. Roberts, Chris SJ [corrected to Probert, Chris SJ].



Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) were previously thought to be uncommon and abdominal tuberculosis (TB) common in patients from Bangladesh. We have reevaluated their incidence in Bangladeshis resident in East London.


Bangladeshis resident in Tower Hamlets presenting between 1997 and 2001 were identified from pathology, endoscopy, and medical records. Demographic, clinical, and management details were recorded. Incidences were calculated and compared with those from 1981 to 1989.


Sixteen Bangladeshi patients with UC, 19 with CD, and 5 with abdominal TB were identified. Between 1997 and 2001, the age-standardized incidence of UC was 8.2/10(5)/yr (95% CI 2.5-13.9) compared with 2.4 (95% CI 0.8-3.8) in 1981-1989, and that of CD was 7.3/10(5)/yr (95% CI 2.0-12.6) (2.3, 95% CI 0.7-3.7 in 1981-1989). The standardized ratios for the incidences of UC and CD in recent periods compared with previous periods were 2.1 (95% CI 0.9-3.9) and 2.5 (1.2-4.6), respectively. There was a significant increase in the number of Bangladeshis developing CD by age <20 yr between the earlier and more recent periods (p < 0.02). The standardized incidence of abdominal TB was 2.5/10(5)/yr (95% CI 0.2-4.8) in 1997-2001, and 7.4 (95% CI 2.1-12.7) in 1985-1989 (p < 0.05). The standardized ratio for the incidence of TB in the two periods was 0.22 (95% CI 0.07-0.53).


In Bangladeshis in East London, the incidence of IBD has increased and of abdominal TB has fallen over the last decade; CD has become a more likely diagnosis than abdominal TB. Clinicians in the Western world need to be aware of the changing incidences of IBD and abdominal TB in South Asians.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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