What is the global incidence of Crohn disease?

Updated: Jul 26, 2019
  • Author: Leyla J Ghazi, MD; Chief Editor: Praveen K Roy, MD, AGAF  more...
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Within Europe and North America, a north-to-south gradient in the frequency of IBD in populations is present. This difference in incidence correlates with the highest frequency of IBD in temperate climates and more industrialized parts of the world, such as Western Europe and North America. [33] As new regions assume Western cultural practices, an increased prevalence of ulcerative colitis is usually found approximately 1 decade before the observed increase in Crohn disease.

The overall incidence of Crohn disease in Europe is about 5.6 per 100,000 inhabitants (7.0 per 100,000 person-years in northern centers vs 3.9 in southern centers). [34] In most Western European countries, the incidence has stabilized or slightly increased. Increases are reported from some high-incidence areas (eg, Denmark and Sweden). Earlier studies from the 1980s reported an incidence of 4.1 per 100,000 person-years, whereas data for 2003-2005 indicate an incidence of 8.6 per 100,000 person-years. [35]

Incidence figures in Asia range from 0.5 to 4.2 cases per 100,000 persons. [36] In Japan, there are about 40,000 patients with Crohn disease (approximately 27 per 100,000 persons). [12] The lowest recorded rates of new cases appear to be in South Africa (0.3-2.6 cases per 100,000 persons) and Latin America (0-0.03 cases per 100,000 persons). [1, 2]

A systematic review revealed that the highest prevalence for Crohn disease in North America was 319 per 100,000 persons, compared with 322 per 100,000 persons in Europe. [37] The highest annual incidence figures were 20.2 per 100,000 person-years in North America, 12.7 per 100,000 person-years in Europe, and 5.0 per 100,000 person-years in Asia and the Middle East. In time-trend analyses, 75% of the epidemiologic studies showed statistically significant increases in the incidence of Crohn disease over time. [37]

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