Korean J Med.  2009 Jun;76(6):637-642.

Trends in the incidence of ulcerative colitis in Korea

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.


Ulcerative colitis is an idiopathic chronic inflammatory disease of the colon that has traditionally been considered rare in Korea. The incidence of ulcerative colitis, however, has increased recently. According to the latest population-based epidemiologic study in Korea, the annual incidence rate of ulcerative colitis has increased from 0.22/100,000 inhabitants in 1886 to 3.62/100,000 inhabitants in 2005. The median age at diagnosis of ulcerative colitis is 35 years and the age-adjusted incidence rate does not differ by sex. Although the incidence of ulcerative colitis is still low in Korea compared to Western countries, it has been increasing rapidly for the past two decades. Moreover, patients with ulcerative colitis usually require lifelong medical management and their life expectancy is similar to that of the general population. Therefore, it is expected that the prevalence of ulcerative colitis in Korea will rise remarkably


Ulcerative colitis; Incidence; Korea
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