Crohn’s Disease (CD) results in chronic inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract. The disease can affect the entire gastro-intestinal tract from mouth to anus and may also cause complications outside the gastro-intestinal tract. In the majority of all cases it does, however, affect the large intestine (colon).
The main gastro-intestinal symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea which may be associated with bleeding. Crohn’s Disease may lead to various complications such as, in particular, obstructions of intestine, fistulae and abscesses. It may also increase the risk of cancer in the area of inflammation.
Although Crohn’s Disease has no known cause, it is widely believed to be an auto-immune disease with a presumed genetic component predisposing to inflammation.
In 2010, according to Datamonitor, in the United States, the total prevalence of Ulcerative Colitis was estimated to be approximately of 854,000 cases and the prevalence of Crohn’s Disease was 526,500 cases.
The worldwide CD patient population is expected to grow. CD has a bimodal distribution in incidence as a function of age: the disease tends to strike people in their teens and twenties, and people in their fifties through seventies.