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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 72-75

A descriptive study of inflammatory bowel disease in eastern regions of Libya: A based survey of Benghazi's hospitals

1 Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Aljumhouria Hospital, Benghazi, Libya
2 Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Benghazi, Benghazi Medical Center (Gastroenterology Unit), Benghazi, Libya

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Asma Elsanussi Mohamed Abdelsalam
Department of Internal Medicine, Aljumhouria Hospital, P. O. Box 17501, Benghazi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/LJMS.LJMS_73_19

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Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence and the clinical characteristics of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the eastern region of Libya. Patients and Methods: This cross-sectional and retrospective study was conducted in the gastroenterology clinic of the Internal Medicine Department of Aljumhouria Hospital and Benghazi Medical Center, which serves patients from Benghazi city as well as patients from most eastern regions of Libya. Data were obtained by searching in medical records of patients in whom the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn's disease (CD) was confirmed by clinical, laboratory, endoscopic, histological, and radiological criteria over the period from 2000 to 2011. This descriptive epidemiologic study included the demographic and clinical characteristics of IBD patients. Results: A total of 243 patients were included in this study: 143 (59%) patients were diagnosed with UC and the other 100 (41%) patients had CD. The estimated prevalence of IBD in the Benghazi area, depending on these data, would at least be 24.3/100,000 population, which is much higher than the previously estimated prevalence (1.2–3.6/100,000 population). The mean age was 37.32 years, and the median was 37 years. Young adults were the most common, and the female-to-male ratio was 1.6:1 in CD and slightly lower in UC. The majority of patients had a mild form of the disease, whereas one-third had a moderate-to-severe illness. Abdominal pain and diarrhea were the most common presenting symptoms. Extraintestinal manifestation (most commonly arthralgia and backache) was seen in 135 patients (55.7%). Conclusion: The results of this study were similar to previous studies regarding demographic characteristics and disease patterns. Nevertheless, the prevalence of IBD has increased compared to previous national figures.

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