IBD, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, are chronic, disabling conditions. These diseases affect up to 2 million people in the United States. There are many things about IBD causes and treatment that remain unknown. However, the causes are likely a combination of both people’s genetic information and environmental factors. Some estimates show that IBD costs the United States $6.3 billion in direct medical costs each year and another $3.6 billion in loss of productivity. IBD is primarily diagnosed in the early decades of life in both men and women. Patients diagnosed with IBD require lifelong specialized care, medical therapies and sometimes surgeries. It is an extremely complex disease. Researchers and physicians do not yet have a widely accepted strategy to understand the severity of the disease over time or to guide the best treatment decisions.

Participating in research is critical to help researchers understand more about IBD. UPMC has an Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center and an IBD Research Registry. If you are interested in joining or learning more about IBD research studies, go to http://www.pittplusme.org and search the IBD Studies page.

 

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