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Inflammatory bowel disease: Epidemiology and management in an English general practice population

Lookup NU author(s): Emeritus Professor Greg RubinORCiD, Emeritus Professor Amritpal Hungin


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Background: Inflammatory bowel diseases have significant long-term morbidity and healthcare resource consequences. Studies based on secondary care records may have underestimated the contribution of general practitioners (GPs) to its management. Aims: To describe the epidemiology and management of inflammatory bowel disease using GP records as the primary data source. Methods: A systematic search of GP clinical records in northern England, identifying cases of inflammatory bowel disease, patient consultation behaviour, prescribing patterns, and extent of specialist care. Results: In a population of 135 723, the incidence of ulcerative colitis was 13.9/100 000 per year (CI: 7.5-20.3) and for Crohn's disease 8.3/100 000 per year (CI: 3.4-13.2). The age-sex adjusted point prevalence for ulcerative colitis on 1st January 1995 was 243.4/100 000 (CI: 217.4-269.4) and for Crohn's disease 144.8/100 000 (CI: 124.8-168.8). The mean number of consultations (s.d.) with specialists and GPs were similar, both in the first 12 months after referral (specialists 3.94 ± 3.15, GPs 3.34 ± 3.55) and in the most recent 12 months (1.02 ± 2.02, 1.04 ± 2.04). Only 29.9% of all patients were definitely under specialist care. Conclusions: Prevalence rates, but not incidence rates, for inflammatory bowel disease are substantially higher than previously described in UK populations. General practitioners make a significant contribution to meeting the healthcare needs of these patients.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rubin GP, Hungin APS, Kelly PJ, Ling J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics

Year: 2000

Volume: 14

Issue: 12

Pages: 1553-1559

ISSN (print): 0269-2813

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2036

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2036.2000.00886.x

PubMed id: 11121902


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