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Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; IBD - ulcerative colitis
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.
See also: Crohn's disease
The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown. People with this condition have problems with the immune system, but it is not clear whether immune problems cause this illness. Although stress and certain foods can trigger symptoms, they do not cause ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis may affect any age group, although there are peaks at ages 15 - 30 and then again at ages 50 - 70.
The disease usually begins in the rectal area, and may involve the entire large intestine over time.
Risk factors include a family history of ulcerative colitis, or Jewish ancestry.
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Moyer MS. Chronic ulcerative colitis in childhood. J Pediatr. 2006;148:325.
Fry RD, Mahmoud N, Maron DJ, Ross HM, Rombeau J. Colon and rectum. In: Townsend CM, Beauchamp RD, Evers BM, Mattox KL, eds. Sabiston Textbook of Surgery. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 50.
Rutgeerts P, Vermeire S, Van Assche G. Biological therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases. Gastroenterology. 2009;136(4):1182-1197.
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