Author(s): Goh K, Xiao SD, Goh K, Xiao SD
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Abstract Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has long been considered a disease that affects predominantly a Western population. The incidence and prevalence rates from Asian populations are much lower in comparison. More recent data, however, have shown significantly higher rates in Asians and time trend studies have shown an increase in the incidence of ulcerative colitis (UC) and a similar but lower rise in Crohn's disease (CD). The epidemiological changes that are taking place mirror that of the Western experience seen 50 years previously and seem to occur in parallel with the rapid socioeconomic development taking place in Asia. It appears that certain racial groups are more prone than others to develop IBD. For instance, Indians in South-East Asia have higher rates compared to Chinese and Malays. While there is host genetic predisposition, environmental factor(s) may be responsible for this difference. Migrant studies of South Asians in the UK, where second-generation immigrants have assumed incidence rates as high as the indigenous whites and Asian Jews who develop high incidence rates comparable to Jews from Europe or North America in Israel point to the role of environmental factors. It is unclear which specific factors are responsible. Studies have suggested a change in diet to a more Westernized one may underlie this epidemiological change in the Asian population. It is likely that there are racial groups amongst Asians who are more susceptible to IBD and who will demonstrate a higher frequency of IBD when exposed to putative environmental factors.
This article was published in J Dig Dis
and referenced in Immunome Research