Background: Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) remain significant health problems in the US and worldwide. IBD is most often associated with eastern European ancestry, and is less frequently reported in other populations of African origin e.g. African Americans ('AAs'). Whether AAs represent an important population with IBD in the US remains unclear since few studies have investigated IBD in communities with a majority representation of AA patients. The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) is a tertiary care medical center, with a patient base composed of 58% AA and 39% Caucasian (W), ideal for evaluating racial (AA vs. W) as well and gender (M vs. F) influences on IBD.Methods: In this retrospective study, we evaluated 951 visits to LSUHSC-S for IBD (between 2000 to 2008) using non-identified patient information based on ICD-9 medical record coding (Crohn's disease 'CD'-555.0- 555.9 and ulcerative colitis 'UC'-556.0-556.9).Results: Overall, there were more cases of CD seen than UC. UC and CD affected similar ratios of AA and Caucasian males (M) and females (F) with a rank order of WF > WM > AAF > AAM. Interestingly, in CD, we found that annual visits per person was the highest in AA M (10.7 ± 1.7); significantly higher (*; -p < 0.05) than in WM (6.3 ± 1.0). Further, in CD, the female to male (F: M) ratio in AA was significantly higher (*;- p < 0.05) (1.9 ± 0.2) than in Caucasians (F:M = 1.3 ± 0.1) suggesting a female dominance in AACD; no differences were seen in UC F: M ratios.Conclusion: Although Caucasians still represent the greatest fraction of IBD (~64%), AAs with IBD made up >1/3 (36.4%) of annual IBD cases from 2000-2008 at LSUHSC-S. Further studies on genetic and environments risks for IBD risk in AAs are needed to understand differences in presentation and progression in AAs and other 'non-traditional' populations.
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