Highlights from

UEGW 2019

United European Gastroenterology Week 2019

Barcelona, Spain 19 - 23 October 2019

IBD prevalence 3 times higher than estimated and expected to rise

New research presented by Dr Dominic King (University of Birmingham, UK) indicated that the number of people suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is 3 times higher than previous estimates, with sufferers also at a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer [1].

Examining IBD cases from the beginning of the century, the investigators wanted to attain accurate data on ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease prevalence in the UK. Utilising data from the Health Improvement Network (THIN), a nationally representative UK primary care database, this new evidence demonstrates that IBD prevalence is 3 times higher than previously reported, with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease prevalence increasing by 55% and 83% respectively, between 2000 and 2017. The study also showed that IBD prevalence is predicted to still rise by almost 25% from 2017 to 2025.

"Our study suggests that IBD prevalence is likely to rise substantially over the next decade. 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 healthcare systems,” Dr King commented.

"The burden of IBD is compounded further by an association with colorectal cancer", he stated. "Our study found that patients suffering from Crohn's disease had a 23% increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to matched controls, whilst ulcerative colitis patients had a significantly elevated risk of 43%. The rise in prevalence of IBD could therefore potentially lead to an associated rise in colorectal cancer cases."

  1. King D et al. Incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in the UK between 2000 and 2016 and associated mortality and subsequent risk of colorectal cancer. UEG Week Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain, October 19-23, 2019, Abstract OP059.

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The content and interpretation of these conference highlights are the views and comments of the speakers/authors.