This Article


Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is Frequently Encountered in Turkey and Iran but Less Than North and West Europe

1 Department of Gastroenterology, Corum Training and Research Hospital, Hitit University, Corum, Turkey
2 Department of Gastroenterology, GATA Haydarpasa Training Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
*Corresponding author: Murat Kekilli, Department of Gastroenterology, Corum Training and Research Hospital, Hitit University, Corum, Turkey. Tel.: +90-3642230300, Fax: 90-3642230303, E-mail:
Annals of Colorectal Research. 2014 December; 1(3): 111. , DOI: 10.17795/acr-14460
Article Type: Letter; Received: Aug 26, 2012; Accepted: Aug 27, 2012; epub: Oct 30, 2013; ppub: Dec 30, 2014

Keywords: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases; Turkey

Dear Editor,

We read with great interest the article by Taghavi et al. (1) presenting data on epidemiological factors of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients in the region of southern Iran. The study included in a great number of patients and the data was analyzed retrospectively. First of all, the article demonstrating an overall increase in the incidence rates of both Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s Disease (CD). The study raises several important issues regarding the presentation of IBD epidemiology and giving some interesting data. First, Taghavi et al. mentioned a female predominance for both UC and CD. In a study of us, we found male predominancy for UC (2) as a rate of 1.4:1 and this finding was compatible with the results of a multicenter IBD epidemiologic survey study from Turkey (3). In the mentioned study, male to female rate was 1.3:1 for both UC and CD (3). Secondly, in Taghavi et al. study the mean age at diagnosis was 34.68 ± 1.44 (range: 8 - 79 years) for UC patients and 32.97 ± 1.34 (range: 9 – 80 years) for CD patients. The peak age range was 20 to 29 for IBD and no second peak was detected (1). In our country’s multicenter study, mean age at diagnosis was 42.6 ± 14.6 for UC patients and 37.4 ± 12.8 for CD patients (3). And there were two peaks detected for IBD between 20 to 30 and 50 to 70 years (3). Third, in Iranian population, the frequency of smoking was 5.2% for UC patients and 7.4% for CD patients and no significant correlation was detected between smoking and the type of the disease (1). In Turkish population, the frequency of smoking was 15.5% for UC patients and 49.3% for CD patients, and smoking was obviously more frequent in CD than UC (P < 0.001) (3).

In conclusion, IBD is frequently encountered in Turkey and Iran but less seen than North and West Europe. In our region, IBD incidence is increasing gradually by two decades owing to community and physicians’ increased knowledge about IBD, using new diagnostic techniques and also a real increase in the IBD incidence rate. So, health authorities and the researches should be focused properly and professionally on IBD.


Financial Disclosure: We have no conflict of interest.
Authors’ Contribution Both authors contributed equally to this work.


  • 1. Taghavi SA, Safarpour AR, Hosseini SV, Noruzi H, Safarpour M, Rahimikazerooni S. Epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) in Iran: A review of 740 patients in Fars province, Southern Iran. Ann Colorectal Res. 2013;1(1):17-22.
  • 2. Kekilli M, Dagli U, Kalkan IH, Tunc B, Disibeyaz S, Ulker A, et al. Low incidence of colorectal dysplasia and cancer among patients with ulcerative colitis: a Turkish referral centre study. Scand J Gastroenterol. 2010;45(4):434-9. [DOI] [PubMed]
  • 3. Tozun N, Atug O, Imeryuz N, Hamzaoglu HO, Tiftikci A, Parlak E, et al. Clinical characteristics of inflammatory bowel disease in Turkey: a multicenter epidemiologic survey. J Clin Gastroenterol. 2009;43(1):51-7. [DOI] [PubMed]