Background and Aims: Many centers worldwide have reported an increased incidence of Crohn's disease, but population-based data in North America are sparse. We studied the incidence and prevalence of Crohn's disease in Olmsted County, Minnesota, and examined temporal trends in incidence and survival. Methods: Residents diagnosed with Crohn's disease between 1970 and 1993 were incidence cases, and residents with Crohn's disease who were alive on January 1, 1991, were prevalence cases. Cases from previous studies were reconfirmed. Rates were adjusted using 1990 U.S. Census figures for whites. Incidence trends were evaluated with a Poisson regression model. Survival from diagnosis was compared with that expected for U.S. north-central whites. Results: Between 1940 and 1993, 225 incidence cases were identified, for an adjusted incidence rate of 5.8 per 100,000 personyears. On January 1, 1991, there were 145 residents with Crohn's disease, an adjusted prevalence rate of 133 per 100,000, 46% higher than that seen in 1980. Incidence rates before 1964 were significantly lower than those of 1989-1993. Observed survival was less than expected (P = 0.007). Conclusions: The incidence of Crohn's disease has stabilized since the 1970s at a rate higher than that seen previously. Prevalence has increased by 46% since 1980. Overall survival is slightly decreased.
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