Crohn’s and Colitis in Minority Patients

Brent Polk, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterologist, says that at least 40 percent of his patients with IBD are underrepresented minorities. Image courtesy of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC) are not easy conditions to talk about. But a much rarer topic is how minority patients are affected by these chronic and debilitating diseases.

Although IBD has mostly affected eggs in the past, a A study published in August 2016 in the journal inflammatory bowel disease There has been an increase in the rate of inflammatory bowel disease in minority groups in the United States over the past two decades.

“Patients may be reluctant to recognize that they have ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, so our current numbers may be an underrepresentation of these minority groups,” says Brent Polk, MD, professor of pediatrics and gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Dr. Polk says that at least 40 percent of his patients are from underrepresented minorities.

According to Polk, who also serves as president Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation National Scientific Advisory Committee, lack of diversity and participation in clinical trials related to IBD could be responsible for missing data on minority patients. To try to bridge this gap, the CDC recently provided a grant to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, with Polk’s guidance, to explore inflammatory bowel disease in racial and ethnic minority groups.

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