Comparative prevalence and features of the course of ulcerative colitis in countries of the same geographical meridian: Ukraine-Tunisia. Testing the North-South hypothesis
Background. Chronic inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease) are severe, incurable illnesses accompanied by loss of work ability and early death due to their complications in most cases. The real prevalence of these diseases remains poorly understood because of statistical reporting built on patients’ access to medical care. The purpose of the work was to carry out a comparative analysis of the prevalence and features of UC course in Ukraine and Tunisia located on the same geographic meridian at a distance of 1,626 km. Results. When comparing the features of UC course in the inhabitants of two countries — Ukraine and Tunisia located on the same geographical meridian at a distance of more than 1,600 km, the gradient factor within the European continent can be traced. This is manifested in the fact that UC is more often affect the younger population of Tunisia (the average age is 37 years, compared to 45 years for Ukrainians); in addition, among Tunisians patients with UC, there are 1.5 times more men than women. There is the predominance of pancolitis and severe course of the disease in Ukrainian patients with UC. Conclusions. Thus, when analyzing the population of UC patients in Ukraine and Tunisia, the incidence of UC in the Ukrainian population appeared to be increased. Ulcerative colitis in Ukrainian patients has more common forms and severe course than in patients from Tunisia. This is due to the peculiarities of environmental factors, genetic predisposition, changes in immunity and intestinal microbiome and confirms the North-South hypothesis.
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