IBD is most common in Westernized countries such as the United States. UC affects up to 500,000 people and CD affects up to 480,000 people in the United States.1-5

The age of initial presentation of IBD is bimodal, with patients typically diagnosed between the age ranges of 20 to 40 years or 60 to 80 years.5 The peak incidence of

CD occurs in the second and third decades of life, with a smaller peak in the fifth dec-

ade. , Peak incidence of UC occurs between the ages of 15 and 25 years.

Men and women are approximately equally affected by IBD. In general, whites are affected more often than blacks, and persons of Jewish descent also have higher reported incidences of IBD. One of the greatest risk factors for development of IBD is a positive family history of the disease. The incidence of IBD is 10 to 40 times greater in patients with a first-degree relative who has IBD compared to the general popula-4,5,7

tion. ' ' A positive family history may be more of a contributing factor for development of CD than UC.7-9

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