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Incidence, Prevalence, and Clinical Epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Arab World

Incidence, Prevalence, and Clinical Epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in the Arab World: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis Mahmoud Mosli, Sameer Alawadhi, Fuad Hasan, Antoine Abou Rached, Faisal Sanai, Silvio Danese Published in Sept 2021, Inflammatory Intestinal Diseases.


Objectives: Despite the recent findings of the rising incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Arab countries, there are limited data on the characteristics of IBD patients and the disease course in the Arab world. This systematic review aimed to investigate the incidence and epidemiology of IBD in the Arab world.

Material and methods: We conducted a systematic literature review that utilized a comprehensive search of PubMed, Cochrane Central, SCOPUS, Google Scholar, and Web of Science from their inception till August 2020. We included cross-sectional, prospective, and retrospective studies that examined the prevalence and/or epidemiological characteristics of IBD in Arab countries.

Results: A total of 16 studies that examined IBD in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Lebanon, and Oman were included. Generally, the included studies covered the period from the early 1990s to the late 2010s. A total of 1,627 ulcerative colitis (UC) patients and 1,588 Crohn's disease (CD) patients were included in this systematic review. The mean age at diagnosis ranged from 24.13 to 43.6 years in adult cases and from 4.5 to 16 years in pediatric cases. In most of the included studies, the majority of patients were male. The quantitative analysis revealed a pooled incidence rate of 2.33 (95% confidence interval [CI] 1.2-3.4) per 100,000 persons per year for UC in the Arab world. Likewise, the pooled incidence rate for CD in the Arab world was 1.46 (95% CI 1.03-1.89) per 100,000 persons per year.

Conclusion: There is a growing incidence of IBD in the Arab world, while IBD patients from Arab countries may present with some different characteristics, compared to their counterparts in Europe.

Keywords: Arab world; Epidemiology; Incidence; Inflammatory bowel disease.


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