Get answers to your Ulcerative Colitis questions.
Inflammatory bowel disease - ulcerative colitis; Colitis - ulcerative
About 1 million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and about half of these patients have ulcerative colitis. There are several risk factors for ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis can occur at any age, but it is most often diagnosed in people ages 15 - 35 and, less commonly, in people ages 50 - 75.
Men and women are equally at risk for developing ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis tends to run in families, with up to 20% of patients having a close relative who also has the disease.
Ulcerative colitis is more common among whites than non-whites. Jewish people of Ashkenzi (Eastern European) descent have a heightened risk for ulcerative colitis.
Smoking appears to increases the risk of developing Crohn's disease, and can worsen the course of the disease. Conversely, smoking appears to decrease the risk of developing ulcerative colitis. Because of the hazards of smoking, however, it should never be used to protect against ulcerative colitis.
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Clark M, Colombel JF, Feagan BC, Fedorak RN, Hanauer SB, Kamm MA, et al. American gastroenterological association consensus development conference on the use of biologics in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease, June 21-23, 2006. Gastroenterology. 2007 Jul;133(1):312-39.
Langan RC, Gotsch PB, Krafczyk MA and Skillinge DD. Ulcerative colitis: diagnosis and treatment. Am Fam Physician. 2007; 76(9):1323-30.
Mahid SS, Minor KS, Soto RE, Hornung CA and Galandiuk S. Smoking and inflammatory bowel disease: a meta-analysis. Mayo Clin Proc. 2006;81(11):1462-71.
Mallon P, McKay D, Kirk S and Gardiner K. Probiotics for induction of remission in ulcerative colitis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2007;(4):CD005573.
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