Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic disabling gastrointestinal disorders impacting every aspect of the affected individual's life and account for substantial costs to the health care system and society. New epidemiological data suggest that the incidence and prevalence of the diseases are increasing and medical therapy and disease management have changed significantly in the last decade. An estimated 2.5-3 million people in Europe are affected by IBD, with a direct healthcare cost of 4.6-5.6 bn Euros/year. Therefore, the aim of this review is to describe the burden of IBD in Europe by discussing the latest epidemiological data, the disease course and risk for surgery and hospitalization, mortality and cancer risks, as well as the economic aspects, patients' disability and work impairment.
Copyright © 2013 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.