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Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease
About 1 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and about half of these patients have Crohn's disease. There are several risk factors for Crohnâ ' s disease.
Crohnâ ' s disease can occur at any age, but is most frequently diagnosed in people ages 15 - 35. About 10% of patients are children under age 18.
Men and women are equally at risk for developing Crohnâ ' s disease.
Crohnâ ' s disease tends to run in families, with 20 - 25% of patients having a close relative who also has the disease.
Crohnâ ' s disease is more common among whites, although incidence rates have been increasing among African-Americans as well. It is less common among Latinos and Asians. Jewish people of Ashkenzi (Eastern European) descent are at 4 - 5 times higher risk than the general population.
Smoking appears to increase the risk of developing Crohnâ ' s disease, and can worsen the course of the disease. (Conversely, smoking appears to decrease the risk of ulcerative colitis. However, because of the hazards of smoking, it should never be used to protect against ulcerative colitis.)
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