Published online Feb 15, 2002. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v8.i1.158
Revised: July 29, 2001
Accepted: August 1, 2001
Published online: February 15, 2002
AIM: To analyze the characteristics of ulcerative colitis (UC) in China.
METHODS: From 1981 to 2000, a total of 10218 patients of UC reported in Chinese medical literature and including our cases diagnosed were analyzed according to the diagnostic criteria of Lennard-Jones.
RESULTS: The number of cases increased by 3.08 times over the past 10 years (2506 patients were diagnosed from 1981 to 1990 while 7512 patients were diagnosed from 1991 to 2000).Lesion range were described in 7966 patients, 5592 (70.20%) were proctosigmoiditis or proctitis, 1792( 22.50%) left-sided colitis, 582(7.30%) pancolitis. Among the 8122 patients, 2826 (34.8%) had first episode, 4272 (52.6%) had chronic relapse, 869 (10.7%) were of chronic persist type, 154 (1.9%) were of acute fulminant type. The course of the illness were described in 5867 patients, 4427(75.5%) were less than 5 years, 910 (15.5%) between 5 and 10 years, 530 (9.1%) more than 10 years. Six hundred and sixteen patients patients(6.1%) had extraintestinal manifestations.The mean age at the diagnosis was 40.7 years(range 6-80 years, and the peak ages 30-49 years). The male to female ratio was1.09. Among 270 patients diagnosed in our hospital, 36 had histories of smoking, there was no negative association between the severity of UC and smoking (P > 0.05), 21 smokers were followed up for one year, 15 of them had given up smoking when the disease were diagnosed, and one year later, 7 patients relapsed, another 6 patients continued smoking, and one year later, 2 patients relapsed. Among 270 UC patients diagnosed in our hospital, 4 patients(1.48%) from 2 families had familial history of UC. Treatment was mentioned in 6859 patients, only 5-ASA and/or corticosteroid only in 1276 patients(18.6%), only Chinese herbs in 1377 patients(20.1%), combined Chinese and western medicine in 4056 patients(59.1%), surgery was performed in 87 patients(1.3%), other treatments in 63 patients(0.9%).
CONCLUSIONS: In China, number of UC patients increased significantly in the past 10 years. Lesions are commonly located to left side colon. The course is short with rare extraintestinal manifestations. The age of onset is relatively high. Males and females are nearly equally affected. No negative relation was found between smoking and severity of the disease. Familial relatives are rarely involved Traditional Chinese medicine(TCM) is widely used in the treatment of UC.