High burden of ulcerative colitis in Australia

High burden of ulcerative colitis in Australia

Both patients and physicians request more time for routine ulcerative colitis appointments. Patients with ulcerative colitis following a novel diet achieved higher clinical remission and mucosal healing compared with patients who received a single donor fecal transplantation, with or without diet, according to a study.

By Kenny Walter

While the majority of patients are satisfied with ulcerative colitis (UC) treatments, the overall disease burden remains high in Australia.

A team, led by Susan J. Connor, PhD, Department of Gastroenterology, Liverpool Hospital, South Western Sydney Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Ingham Institute of Applied Medical Research, evaluated the impact , perceptions of burden, and management approaches of ulcerative colitis using data from both patients and physicians in Australia.

“Patient–physician communication is a vital element in the care of patients with UC, where the construction of collaborative relationships is a key part of achieving optimal disease management,” the authors wrote. “Arming patients with an adequate knowledge of UC enables them to confront both their disease and the possibilities of self-management.”

The disease burden of ulcerative colitis can surpass the clinical symptoms alone and there is a need for a better understanding in how the disease can impact the patient lives.

The Survey

A total of 215 patients with ulcerative colitis and 90 physicians in Australia answered the Global Ulcerative Colitis Narrative Survey, conducted by The Harris Poll between August 2017 and February 2018.

The survey, which was conducted in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the UK, and the US, explored several aspects of living with ulcerative colitis, including day-to-day disease impact, disease management, goal setting, and communication.

The participants answered questions on disease characteristics, impact on life, communication with physicians, and patient knowledge of ulcerative colitis.

Eligible physicians were gastroenterologists seeing at least 10 patients with ulcerative colitis per month, at least 10% of which are patients currently taking a biologic.

Disease Burden

Of the 215 patients, 84% had moderate to severe ulcerative colitis. The diagnostic delay on average was 1.9 years and 48% of patients had waited at least a year for diagnosis.

In addition, 65% of patients considered themselves to be in remission and 97% reported a flare in the previous year.


A high rate of patients (92%) were satisfied with their ulcerative colitis medication. If their treatment made them feel “good enough,” 75% of respondents would not consider an alternative.

The majority of patients (90%) were satisfied with communication with their physician, but only 48% felt comfortable raising emotional concerns.

One request from both patients and physicians is more time during routine appointments. Patients also had gaps in their ulcerative colitis knowledge, which physicians mostly recognized.

“The Australian survey results highlighted the diagnostic delay and burden of UC patients’ experience, gaps in patients’ knowledge of UC, and challenges in patient–physician communication,” the authors wrote. “Compared with the overall Global UC Narrative Survey, patients in Australia reported a high burden of disease.”

Australia has 1 of the highest incidence rates of ulcerative colitis in the world with some estimates of a crude incidence rate of 7.5 per 100,000 individuals in 2010-2011.

The study, “Ulcerative Colitis Narrative findings: Australian survey data comparing patient and physician disease management views,” was published online in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Original source here.

Get Active, Connect & Raise Awareness Of IBD

Registrations now open for the 2021 Live Fearless Challenge

Crohn’s & Colitis Australia’s (CCA) Live Fearless Challenge is on again this September. The month-long personal fitness challenge is the perfect opportunity to put daily healthy habits into practice, connect and get active with your friends, and improve your health and wellbeing while also helping to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Now in its fourth year, the Live Fearless Challenge raises funds for programs, education and support for people who have Crohn’s disease (Crohn’s) and ulcerative colitis (colitis), the two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease. The fundraising also supports research into the diseases. There is currently no cure for Crohn’s or colitis.

To undertake the Live Fearless Challenge, participants commit to doing 150kms of activity during September, which averages out to 5kms – or only 7,000 steps a day. But you don’t have to run or walk – you could also swim or cycle. Workouts like yoga, dancing, stretching and even mindfulness are all eligible, with the minutes spent doing these activities converted to kilometres.

Leanne Raven, Chief Executive of CCA, says staying active has both physical and mental health benefits, which is especially important during the pandemic.

“Regardless of your fitness level, it’s important to keep moving and do some activity each day. Through the Live Fearless Challenge, we encourage you to set yourself a personal fitness goal, and then commit to reaching it however suits you and your fitness level. You can take the Challenge by yourself or perhaps form a team and motivate each other through the month.

“Personally, I’ve found that knowing I have people sponsoring me is a great way to make sure that I actually reach my goal. But most importantly, our hope is that participants will see the benefits that a regular healthy exercise habit and attaining a goal have on their physical and mental wellbeing and will be motivated to keep it up even after the Challenge has finished,” Ms Raven said.

Josh Gardner, 2019 and 2020 Live Fearless Challenger, was extremely grateful for the opportunity to take part in the Live Fearless Challenge last September.

“Not only was I able to raise funds and awareness for Crohn’s and Colitis Australia, but I was also able to get fit and active in the process, which was really good for my own health especially with the COVID-19 lockdown!!”

CCA says that with Crohn’s or colitis affecting 100,000 people in Australia, most people are likely to know of someone living with inflammatory bowel disease. As part of the Challenge, participants can dedicate their efforts towards someone they know that lives with IBD by registering any funds raised as a Tribute.

Drew Berwick dedicated his Live Fearless Challenge last year to his son.

“My son was diagnosed several years ago and I did this challenge specifically in his honour. He means the world to me and anything I can do to help raise funds to support CCA and to find a cure I will do.”

Stephanie took part in the 2020 on behalf of her partner.

“My partner has Crohn’s and so I often feel helpless against the silent disease. I wanted to raise money and awareness by reaching out to my friend and colleagues. This challenge was a great way to stay active for a fantastic cause and I hope I spread the word well.”

To register as an individual or as a team visit: www.livefearlesschallenge.com.au. Registration is FREE.

CCA acknowledges and thanks our generous sponsors, Abbvie, Sandoz, and Celltrion for supporting the Live Fearless Challenge 2021.

– ENDS –

For media enquiries Rachel Gemmell on 0428 998 279 or at [email protected].

People with IBD often have inadequate diets

IBD patients were less likely to have diets that regularly include vegetables, cereals, breads, and diary.

By Kenny Walter

It has been long known that diet decisions can increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but new research shows poor diet might also be common among patients diagnosed with the disease.

A team, led by Kelly Lambert, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, evaluated dietary intake of adult IBD patients, including macronutrients, micronutrients, and food group data.

It has been long known that diet decisions can increase the risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but new research shows poor diet might also be common among patients diagnosed with the disease.

A team, led by Kelly Lambert, School of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Medicine and Health, Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute, University of Wollongong, evaluated dietary intake of adult IBD patients, including macronutrients, micronutrients, and food group data.

The Importance of Diet

Genetics, dysfunction in inflammatory responses by the innate and adaptive immune system, environmental exposure during childhood, diet, and the gut microbiota have been shown to contribute to the development and progression of the IBD.

Poor diets and nutritional habits has been linked to a number of negative outcomes, including the development of malnutrition, micronutrient deficiencies, anemia, and osteoporosis for IBD patients.

Studies show diets high in total fat, polyunsaturated fatty acids, soft drinks and meat and low intakes of fiber from fruits and vegetables are associated with the development of IBD.

This link is currently being examined in clinical trials, but thus far there has been no compressive systematic review of the dietary intake of IBD patients.

Data Review

In the study, the researchers examined various databases for cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional studies involving dietary intake for adults.

The team collected and pooled data for the studies between January 1, 2000 and September 25, 2020, which were reported as weighted mean intakes for all adults with IBD; Crohn’s disease; ulcerative colitis; active disease; remission; males; females.

The investigators also used a random-effects meta-analysis model to compare the dietary intake of IBD patients with a healthy control group.

There were 40 studies identified, 19 of which were included in the final analysis.

Food Choices

Results show inadequate energy for all subgroups of adults with IBD (mean intake in adults with IBD 1980 ± 130 kcal), as well as fiber (14 ± 4 g), folate (246 ± 33 mg) and calcium (529 ± 114 mg) per day.

Specific food items were identified as being under consumed by IBD patients, including breads and cereals, legumes, fruit, vegetables, and dairy. This is consistent with the results of previous research.

In comparison to the healthy control groups, IBD patients consumed significantly less dietary fiber (SMD −0.59; 95% CI, −0.73 to −0.46).

“This review provides improved clarity about the dietary intake of adults with IBD,” the authors wrote. “Future attention is required to improve diet quality and increase understanding of factors influencing dietary intake in IBD.”

There was also specific differences found between patients with Crohn’s disease and patients with ulcerative colitis.

“For adults with ulcerative colitis, they were found to consume significantly more fat and copper compared to healthy controls,” the authors wrote. “Adults with Crohn’s disease consumed significantly less protein, iron and fiber compared to healthy controls.”

The study, “Systematic review with meta-analysis: dietary intake in adults with inflammatory bowel disease,” was published online in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.

Original source here.