Bowel disease on rise in US

unduhan-26More than 3 million U.S. adults may have inflammatory bowel disease, according to a new government estimate. That’s nearly triple the number of some previous estimates, the researchers said.

The new estimate is based on a national survey conducted by researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Survey respondents were asked whether a doctor or other health professional had ever told them that they had either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, which are the two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Based on the responses, the researchers estimated that 1.3 percent of U.S. adults, or 3.1 million Americans, have IBD.

People with IBD have chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Patients often have abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue and diarrhea. They may also have a poor quality of life, as they often have complications and need to be hospitalized or undergo surgery, the report said.

“According to this report, the prevalence of IBD is much higher than previously estimated,” said Dr. Siddharth Singh, a gastroenterologist and clinical assistant professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

Knowing the true rate of IBD is important because that knowledge will help health care providers offer better “strategies for high-value care” to patients with the condition, Singh told Live Science. It will also help researchers understand the impact of this condition on the health care system, he said.

The report additionally found that IBD is more common in some groups, including adults ages 45 and older, Hispanics, non-Hispanic whites, and adults with less than a high school level of education.

“For a disease traditionally thought to affect young adults, it is surprising to see a high prevalence of [IBD] in older adults,” Singh said. The report found that 1.5 percent of adults ages 45 to 64, and 1.7 percent of adults ages 65 and older said they had been diagnosed with IBD.

In the new report, the researchers looked at data gathered in 2015 during the CDC’s annual National Health Interview Survey. In this survey, researchers conduct in-person interviews with participants from across the U.S. about a broad range of health topics.

Previous estimates of IBD prevalence in the U.S. have come from surveys done in limited geographic areas, or from health care claims data. For example, a study published in 2013 used claims data from 12 million people and estimated that 1.2 million U.S. adults had IBD. A 2007 study, based on the residents of one county in Minnesota, estimated that, nationally, 1.1 million people had the disease.