Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are chronic autoimmune disorders that constitute a major societal and economic burden for individual patients, their families and the society. The aim of this study was to assess the current prevalence and treatment patterns of IBD in Poland.Patients and methods
We carried out a retrospective analysis of the nationwide databases of the National Health Fund for the years from 2012 to 2014 to obtain data on the prevalence and treatment patterns of IBD. Patients with IBD were identified according to the ICD-10 codes indicated in medical records and the type of medical resource utilized during the study. Pharmacotherapy for IBD by age group, sex and IBD types was presented.Results
The prevalence of IBDs was 157/100 000 individuals, including 35 patients with CD per 100 000 individuals. The use of drugs differed by age and diagnosis (P<0.001). Biologics, steroids and immunosuppressants were used more often by patients with CD than those with UC (13.2 vs. 0.3%, 54.5 vs. 37.5%, and 44.8 vs. 15.1%, respectively). Aminosalicylates were used more often by patients with UC than those with CD. Biologics were used most often by the youngest patients (≤18 years) and seldom by patients aged 65 years or older (7.7 and 0.1%, respectively).Conclusion
Our study showed a moderate prevalence of IBD in Poland. Treatment patterns depended on the patient’s age and IBD type. The use of biologics was higher among young patients with CD than among older patients with other IBDs. Although not recommended, aminosalicylates were still commonly used in patients with CD, even during biologic and/or immunosuppressive treatment.