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Intest Res. 2016 Apr;14(2):111-9. doi: 10.5217/ir.2016.14.2.111. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Changing epidemiological trends of inflammatory bowel disease in Asia.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Institute of Digestive Disease, State Key Laboratory of Digestive Diseases and LKS Institute of Health Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.; Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.
2
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Institute of Digestive Disease, State Key Laboratory of Digestive Diseases and LKS Institute of Health Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Abstract

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has become more common in Asia over the past few decades. The rate of increase in prevalence of the disease varies greatly in Asia, with several countries in East Asia experiencing a more than doubled increase in IBD prevalence over the past decade. Historically, ulcerative colitis (UC) is more common than Crohn's disease (CD) in Asia. However, a reverse trend is beginning to appear in more developed countries in Asia such as Japan, Korea, and Hong Kong. While Asian IBD patients share many similarities with their Western counterparts, there are important differences with significant clinical implications. In Asia, there are more men with CD, more ileo-colonic involvement in CD, less familial aggregation, fewer extra-intestinal manifestations and worse clinical outcomes for older-onset patients with UC. These differences are likely related to the different genetic makeup and environmental exposures in different regions. Evaluation of the differences and rates in epidemiologic trends may help researchers and clinicians estimate disease burden and understand the reasons behind these differences, which may hold the key to unravel the etiology of IBD.

KEYWORDS:

Asia; Colitis, ulcerative; Crohn disease; Epidemiology; Inflammatory bowel diseases

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