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Epidemiology, burden of disease, and unmet needs in the treatment of ulcerative colitis in Asia

Shu-Chen Wei , Jose Sollano 2, Yee Tak Hui 3, Wei Yu 4, Paul V Santos Estrella 5, Lyndon John Q Llamado 5, Nana Koram 6

Published Mar, 2021 in the Expert Rev Gastroenterology & Hepatology


Introduction: Ulcerative colitis (UC) is an idiopathic, chronic inflammatory disease of the colon, characterized by relapsing and remitting symptoms. Although traditionally viewed as a Western disease, the incidence and prevalence of UC is increasing in developing regions, including Asian countries.

Areas covered: A PubMed search identified articles describing epidemiology, disease burden, patient demographics, clinical characteristics, risk factors, and treatment of UC across Asia. We review the epidemiology and disease course of UC across Asia, including region-specific factors that may aid development of more cost-effective treatment approaches tailored to the needs of Asian populations.

Expert opinion: The opinion of non-Pfizer-affiliated practicing gastroenterologists is that epidemiological data from the last four decades have shown 1.5-fold to almost 20-fold increases in the incidence and prevalence of UC in some Asian countries, although prevalence remains generally lower than in the West. As the prevalence of UC rises, so will overall healthcare costs. Disparities in healthcare systems and funding mean that different Asian countries face unique challenges in how best to use available resources, including selection from a growing number of emerging treatment options. More clinical trial and real-world data are required to help define treatment approaches that will most benefit Asian populations.

Keywords: Clinical characteristics; disease burden; epidemiology; incidence; prevalence; risk factors; treatment; ulcerative colitis.


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