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New trends in inflammatory bowel disease epidemiology and disease course in Eastern Europe.

Trends in current epidemiological data suggest that the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases is changing. Eastern Europe previously was seen as a low incidence area; however, new data confirm that incidence and prevalence are quickly increasing in some countries, reaching moderate-to-high incidence as reported in Western European countries. The quality of the studies also improved. Recently, data became available on the natural history of the disease from Eastern European countries. Current trends are similar to those reported from Western Europe and North America, including less complicated disease at diagnosis, accelerated use of immunomodulators and decreased need for surgery in Crohn's disease, more cases of proctitis and relatively low colorectal cancer risk in ulcerative colitis. In addition, in-depth analysis of disease course enabled the identification of possible predictive factors leading to some novel findings, such as the association between the decline in surgery risk and early treatment strategy. In contrast, some unexplained differences exist, such as the low overall colectomy risk in ulcerative colitis.

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