Inflammatory bowel disease 3 times more common than previous estimates: 5 takeaways

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The prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease among adults in the United States may look different than previous estimates, according to research presented in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report series.

The researchers estimated IBD prevalence using data from the 2015 National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative data source. The researchers say this study contrasts previous work, which has tended toward using administrative claims data or data with limited sample sizes.

Here's what you need to know:

1. An estimated 3.1 million, or 1.3 percent, of adults have received an IBD diagnosis.

2. This finding is almost three times the prevalence previously estimated based on previous studies. The last nationally representative study, conducted in 1999, estimated that 1.8 million, or 0.9 percent, of adults had received IBD diagnoses.

3. IBD diagnosis was associated with age over 45 years old, less than high school level education, poverty, unemployment, suburban residence, being born in the United States and Hispanic and white ethnicity.

4. IBD prevalence did not vary by sex, marital status, health insurance coverage type or region of residence.

5. These demographic associations differed from previous studies; for example, research using administrative claims data found that individuals with commercial insurance were more likely to have IBD than individuals with Medicaid.

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