Some of our volunteers or their family members have recently been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBS). IBS is separated into ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. This article speaks to the seemingly increase in patients with Crohn' Disease.
Do more people have Crohn's disease? The researchers explore that this hypothesis. They believe that the reasons we are witnessing an increased number of patients with Crohn's might imply that physicians are diagnosing Crohn's earlier or maybe we are expanding the addition of Crohn's as a medical disorder, other than the primary diagnosis when billing. Thus, it might appear that more people are having Crohn's. However is there an absolute increase in the number of patients with Crohn's?
"The usual treatment approach for Crohn's disease begins with aminosalicylates(aspirin-like medications) and steroids(decreases inflammations). Therapy often progresses to immunomodulators(they reduce the body's immune system functions) and biologics(they inhibit central areas of the immune system that play important roles in mitigating inflammation). Usually, the last treatment recourse is surgery(cut out the part of the intestines that has the disease). Surgery is used for patients recalcitrant to the therapies mentioned earlier.
There was a decline in prescriptions for steroids and an increase in orders for the more powerful immunomodulators and the newer biologic therapies from 1994 to 2005, the researchers noted.
In contrast to the stable rates of hospitalization with Crohn's as first-listed diagnosis, the age-adjusted rates of hospitalizations for any listed Crohn's disease diagnosis, (meaning that patients had Crohn's disease, but Crohn's was not necessarily the primary reason for the hospital admission). From 2003 to 2013, hospitalizations grew by 35.1%. Increasing from 44.2 per 100,000 patients to 59.7 per 100,000 patients (P<0.05).
Also, from 2003 to 2007, hospitalizations for any listed Crohn's diagnosis were twice as high as for the first-listed disease, increasing to three times higher from 2008 to 2013.
These increases in any-listed hospitalizations "might represent greater physician awareness and diagnosis of Crohn's disease or a more complete coding of secondary diagnoses by doctors," according to the researchers."