Inflammatory bowel disease is rising in the United States.
According to a new government estimate, more than three million American adults may have inflammatory bowel disease. That’s almost three times the previous estimate, the researchers said.
The new estimate is based on a national survey by researchers at the centers for disease control and prevention (CDC). Respondents were asked whether doctors or other health professionals had told them they had crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, two types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Based on these responses, the researchers estimated that 1.3 percent of U.S. adults (or 3.1 million americans) had IBD.
IBD patients have chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract. Patients often have abdominal pain, cramps, fatigue and diarrhea. They may also have poor quality of life, the report says, because they tend to have complications that require hospitalization or surgery.
“According to the report, the incidence of IBD is much higher than previously estimated,” said Dr Siddharth Singh, an assistant professor of gastroenterology and clinical practice at the university of California, San Diego.
Understanding the true IBD ratio is important because it will help healthcare providers provide better “high-value care strategies” for patients with the disease, Singh told Live Science. He added that it would also help researchers understand the impact of the situation on the health care system.
The report also found that IBD is more common in some groups, including adults over the age of 45, hispanics, non-hispanic whites and adults below high school.
“For a disease that is traditionally thought to affect young people, the high incidence of IBD in the elderly is surprising,” Singh said. The report found that 1.5 percent of adults aged 45 to 64 and 1.7 years of age 65 and older said they had been diagnosed with IBD.
In the new report, the researchers looked at data collected in 2015 during the CDC’s annual national health survey. In the survey, researchers conducted face-to-face interviews with participants from all over the United States, covering a wide range of health topics.
Previous estimates of the prevalence of IBD in the United States came from surveys in limited geographical areas or health care claims data. For example, a study published in 2013 used claims from 12 million people and estimated that 1.2 million U.S. adults had IBD. An estimated 1.1 million people in the country suffer from the disease, according to a 2007 study by residents of a Minnesota county.
However, Mr. Singh said the new report may overestimate the incidence of the situation. He says common symptoms of IBD patients may also occur in other, more common gastrointestinal diseases, such as irritable bowel syndrome. The IBD diagnosis needs to be confirmed by using an endoscope, a small camera mounted on a hose that doctors use to look inside the gastrointestinal tract, Mr. Singh said.
He added that “some people may misunderstand their symptoms” and think they have irritable bowel syndrome.
By the U.S. centers for disease control and prevention, national center for health statistics of James Dahlhamer led by the author of the new report also notes that the new estimate limitation is that it depends on self-reported people are diagnosed with disease.
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He said the rate of rise in the us could be linked to a variety of factors, including changes in people’s diets, including eating more packaged foods or fast food, and increasing consumption of fat and sugar. But he says increased use of antibiotics, increased use of dietary chemicals and an increase in the prevalence of obesity may also play a role.
Most patients with IBD tend to have a normal life span, but “their quality of life may be significantly affected,” he said.