IBD in different ethnic groups

same or different?

Rupert W L Leong*, Dorothy K L Chow, Christian P. Selinger

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


IBDs are rarer in developing countries than in the West. However, in many countries, in particular in Asia, a marked increase in IBD incidence in recent years has been observed. Comparative analysis of IBD phenotype and genotype may help determine whether IBD in different ethnicities are indeed the same group of diseases as in the West. IBD phenotypes are similar in the East and West. In Asia, stricturing and fistulizing complications in Crohn's disease (CD) develop over time as they do in Caucasians. In ulcerative colitis (UC), the extent of inflammation also tends to be similar. Notable differences include the rarity of primary sclerosing cholangitis and male predominance of CD in Asia. Ethnicity differences are also apparent for IBD genotypes. The NOD2 susceptibility genotypes linked with CD in Caucasians are almost nonexistent in Asia. Some genes that cause IBD in all ethnicities include certain HLA genotypes and the tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 (TNFSF15) gene. These observations imply that, irrespective of specific genotypes, activation of similar inflammatory pathways ultimately generate similar disease phenotypes in different ethnicities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationClinical dilemmas in inflammatory bowel disease
Subtitle of host publicationnew challenges
EditorsPeter M. Irving, Corey A. Siegel, David S. Rampton, Fergus Shanahan
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherWiley-Blackwell, Wiley
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781444342543, 9781444342574
ISBN (Print)9781444334548
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • phenotype
  • gene
  • genotype
  • polymorphism
  • ethnicity
  • population
  • epidemiology
  • NOD2

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