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Managing ulcerative colitis

There are a number of factors to consider in treating this common gut condition, explains Suneeta Kochhar

Ulcerative colitis is the most common inflammatory disease of the bowel, followed by Crohn’s disease.1

It is associated with significant morbidity and may have significant psychological sequelae. It has an incidence of 10 per 100,000 people annually in the UK, with a prevalence of 240 per 100,000 people.1

It can affect all age groups, but there is a peak at 15-25 years and a further, smaller peak at 55-65 years.1

The condition is idiopathic but there may be a genetic susceptibility and there may be an immunomodulatory component. Interestingly, smoking is associated with milder disease and removal of an inflamed appendix in early life reduces the incidence of ulcerative colitis.2

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