Published online Jan 21, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i3.424
Peer-review started: August 28, 2017
First decision: October 10, 2017
Revised: November 15, 2017
Accepted: November 21, 2017
Article in press: November 21, 2017
Published online: January 21, 2018
Core tip: We reviewed the literature on the epidemiology of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in migrants and racial groups. Thirty-three studies met the inclusion criteria. Individual studies showed significant differences in incidence, prevalence and disease phenotype between migrants or race and indigenous groups. Only the incidence studies were sufficient in number and comparable for pooled analysis and meta-analysis. There was a trend for higher incidence for ulcerative colitis and lower incidence for Crohn’s disease in South Asian migrants. This review suggests that migration and race influence the risk of developing IBD. This may be due to different inherent responses upon exposure to an environmental trigger in the adopted country.