IBD, Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis: Numbers You Need to Know

By Cari Wade Gervin
Tuesday, September 8, 2020

In 2015, 1.3% of U.S. adults — around 3 million people — had diagnosed inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

IBD Is Increasing

  • Almost 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed every year.
  • Most cases of IBD are diagnosed before patients reach 35.
  • As many as 80,000 children in the U.S. have IBD.

IBD, Not IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

  • IBD is a disease; IBS is a group of symptoms.
  • IBD causes inflammation; IBS does not.
  • IBD can be seen during diagnostic imaging; IBS cannot.
  • IBD increases the risk for colon cancer; IBS does not.

Crohn’s Disease VS. Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s Disease:

  • Can affect any part of the GI tract
  • Can affect the entire bowel wall
  • Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss
  • Bloody stool is variable

Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Only affects the colon and rectum
  • Affects the inner lining of the large intestine
  • Symptoms include abdominal pain, stool urgency, increased bowel movements
  • Bloody stool is common

IBD and Hospitalization

  • Between 2003 and 2013, hospitalizations for Crohn’s disease did not increase when it was the primary diagnosis.
  • During the same time period, hospitalization rates rose from 44.2 to 59.7 per 100,000 population when Crohn’s was a secondary diagnosis.
  • The average hospitalization costs are $11,345 for Crohn’s disease.
  • The average hospitalization costs are $13,412 for ulcerative colitis.

IBD and Other Diseases

According to the CDC, people with IBD are more likely to have chronic health conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Respiratory disease