Ulcerative Colitis - Epidemiology


The incidence of ulcerative colitis in North America is 10–12 cases per 100,000 per year, with a peak incidence of ulcerative colitis occurring between the ages of 15 and 25. Prevalence is 1 per 1000. There is thought to be a bimodal distribution in age of onset, with a second peak in incidence occurring in the 6th decade of life. The disease affects females more than males.

The geographic distribution of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease is similar worldwide, with highest incidences in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. Higher incidences are seen in northern locations compared to southern locations in Europe and the United States.

As with Crohn's disease, the prevalence of ulcerative colitis is greater among Ashkenazi Jews and decreases progressively in other persons of Jewish descent, non-Jewish Caucasians, Africans, Hispanics, and Asians. Appendectomy prior to age 20 for appendicitis and tobacco use are protective against development of ulcerative colitis.

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