BACKGROUND AND AIMS: The ECCO-EpiCom study investigates the differences in the incidence and therapeutic management of inflammatory bowel diseases [IBD] between Eastern and Western Europe. The aim of this study was to analyse the differences in the disease phenotype, medical therapy, surgery, and hospitalization rates in the ECCO-EpiCom 2011 inception cohort during the first year after diagnosis.
METHODS: Nine Western, five Eastern European centres and one Australian centre with 258 Crohn's disease [CD], 380 ulcerative colitis [UC] and 71 IBD unclassified [IBDU] patients [female/male: 326/383; mean age at diagnosis: 40.9 years, SD: 17.3 years] participated. Patients' data were registered and entered in the web-based ECCO-EpiCom database [www.epicom-ecco.eu].
RESULTS: In CD, 36 [19%] Western Europe/Australian and 6 [9%] Eastern European patients received biological therapy [p = 0.04], but the immunosuppressive [IS] use was equal and high in these regions [Eastern Europe vs Western Europe/Australia: 53% vs 45%; p = 0.27]. Surgery was performed in 17 [24%] CD patients in Eastern Europe and 13 [7%] in Western Europe/Australia [p < 0.001, pLogRank = 0.001]. Of CD patients from Eastern Europe, 24 [34%] were hospitalized, and 39 [21%] from Western Europe/Australia, [p = 0.02, pLogRank = 0.01]. In UC, exposure to biologicals and colectomy rates were low and hospitalization rates did not differ between these regions during the 1-year follow-up period [16% vs 16%; p = 0.93].
CONCLUSIONS: During the first year after diagnosis, surgery and hospitalization rates were significantly higher in CD patients in Eastern Europe compared with Western Europe/Australia, whereas significantly more CD patients were treated with biologicals in the Western Europe/Australian centres.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases