Aim: The Romanian Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy developed a multicentre, prospective study to evaluate the frequency and epidemiological features of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in an adult population that refers to gastroenterology centres in Romania.
Material and methods: Eighteen centres with adequate diagnostic and therapeutic facilities uniformly distributed across Romania reported through a proforma the new and old IBD cases between 1 June 2002 and 1 June 2003. The rates of incidence and prevalence of ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD) have been reported per 100 000 inhabitants. Epidemiological features and disease characteristics were analysed.
Results: During the study, 407 cases of UC (163 incident cases) and 254 cases of CD (85 incident cases) were identified. The incidence in the referral population was 0.97/100 000 and 0.50/100 000 for UC and CD, respectively, whereas the prevalences was 2.42/100 000 and 1.51/100 000 for UC and CD, respectively. A slight male predominance, wider age distribution and predominant urban residence were the main demographic features of incident cases; smoking and appendectomy/appendicitis were infrequent in UC, while a higher proportion of CD patients were smokers. Lower rates of severe, extensive or complicated IBD were noted as compared with the literature.
Conclusion: Incidence and prevalence rates of IBD in Romania are low. Predominant male involvement and a wider distribution of incident cases were the main demographic features in our population. IBD in our patients had a more 'benign' course as compared with the literature, with lower rates of severe, extensive or complicated disease and a small proportion of patients who need surgery.