Inflammatory bowel disease in an underdeveloped region of Northeastern Brazil

World J Gastroenterol. 2015 Jan 28;21(4):1197-206. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i4.1197.


Aim: To evaluate the demographic characteristics and clinical phenotypes of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in a geographic area in Northeastern Brazil.

Methods: This retrospective study was conducted at the Hospital of the Federal University of Piauí in Northeastern Brazil. Demographic characteristics and clinical phenotypes of IBD were analyzed in relation to the time of diagnostic confirmation, which was defined as the date of disease onset. Data were collected between January 2011 and December 2012 and included all census patients 18 years of age or older during that period for whom there was diagnostic confirmation of Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), or unclassified colitis according to the Montreal criteria. We also analyzed the period of time between the onset of clinical manifestations and the diagnosis of IBD (delay in the diagnosis). Statistical analyses included means and standard deviations for numeric variables and the Pearson χ2 adherence test for nominal variables. The annual index occurrence and overall prevalence of IBD at our institution were also calculated, with P values<0.05 indicating statistical significance. This study was approved by the Institutional Ethics and Research Committee.

Results: A total of 252 patients with IBD were included, including 152 (60.3%) UC patients and 100 (39.7%) CD patients. The clinical and demographic characteristics of all patients with IBD showed a female to male ratio of 1.3:1.0 and a mean age of 35.2 (SD=14.5) years. In addition, the majority of patients were miscegenated (171, 67.9%), had received higher education (157, 62.4%), lived in urban areas (217, 86.1%), and were under the age of 40 years (97, 62.5%). For patients with CD, according to the Montreal classification, the predominant features present from the onset of disease were an age between 17 and 40 years (A2); colonic disease location (L2); and nonstricturing, nonfistulizing disease behavior (B1). However, approximately one-quarter of all CD patients demonstrated perineal involvement. We also observed considerable delay in the diagnosis of IBD throughout the entire study period (mean=35.5 mo). In addition, the annual index occurrence rose from 0.08 to 1.53 cases/10(5) inhabitants/year during the study period, and the prevalence rate was 12.8 cases/10(5) inhabitants in 2012. Over the last two decades, there was a noted increase in the frequency of IBD in the study area.

Conclusion: In this study, there was a predominance of patients with UC, young people under 40 years of age, individuals with racial miscegenation, and low annual incomes.

Keywords: Crohn’s disease; Epidemiology; Human Development Index; Inflammatory bowel diseases; Ulcerative colitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Brazil / epidemiology
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / epidemiology*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / ethnology
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / epidemiology*
  • Crohn Disease / ethnology
  • Delayed Diagnosis
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hospitals, University
  • Humans
  • Income
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phenotype
  • Poverty
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult