Most data regarding the natural history of inflammatory bowel diseases and their therapeutic management are from tertiary referral-centres. However, the patients followed in these centres represent a selected sample and extrapolation of these data to the general population is disputable. The EPIMAD Registry covers a large area of Northern France with almost 6 million inhabitants representing 9.3% of the entire French population. From 1988 to 2008, 18,170 incident patients were recorded in the registry including 8071 incident Crohn's disease, 5113 incident ulcerative colitis and 591 unclassified inflammatory bowel disease cases. The aim of this study was to review some of the most recent information obtained from this large population-based registry since its launch in 1988.
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