INTRODUCTIONInflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is an immune‐mediated condition driven by chronic inflammation of the intestinal mucosa. It is characterized by a highly variable clinical course associated with periods of remission and severe relapses. Approximately 1.4 million people are currently affected by IBD in the USA. In North America the prevalence of CD ranges from 26 to 199 cases per 100 000 individuals and that of UC ranges from 37 to 246 cases per 100 000 individuals.Most commonly diagnosed in late adolescence and early adulthood, IBD is an incurable disease that frequently commits patients to lifelong medical care that often results in substantial medical expenses. In 2004 the mean annual cost of treatment was $8265 per patient for CD and $5066 per patient for UC in the USA. The total annual disease‐attributable direct cost of IBD in the USA is estimated to be $6.3 billion ($3.6 billion for CD and $2.7 billion for UC). Most of the costs occur during the first year of diagnosis. Surgery and hospitalizations were previously the primary drivers of cost but they have recently played a smaller role since the introduction of biologic agents. In 2014,
Journal of Digestive Diseases – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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