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Crohn’s and Colitis in Minority Patients

Despite the increase of IBD in racial and ethnic minorities, many misconceptions still exist surrounding Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in minority populations. Read on as we debunk the most common myths.

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (UC) are not easy conditions to talk about. But an even rarer topic of conversation is how minority patients are affected by these chronic and debilitating diseases.

Although IBD has predominantly affected whites in the past, a study published in August 2016 in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease found an increase in the rate of IBD in minority groups in the United States over the past two decades.

“Patients may be reluctant to identify as having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, so our current numbers may really underrepresent these minority groups,” says Brent Polk, MD, a professor of pediatrics and a gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. Dr. Polk says at least 40 percent of his patients are from underrepresented minorities.

According to Polk, who is also the chair of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s National Scientific Advisory Committee, a lack of diversity and engagement in IBD-related clinical trials could be responsible for the missing data on minority patients. To try to bridge this gap, the CDC recently provided a grant to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, under the guidance of Polk, to explore IBD in racial and ethnic minority groups.

Despite the increase of IBD in underrepresented populations, many misconceptions still exist surrounding Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in minority patients. Here we debunk six common myths.

Read on: Crohn’s and Colitis in Minority Patients

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