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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Study Says Crohn's Disease is Worse in Black Children Because...

Black child with crohn's disease

About 1.6 million Americans have Crohn's disease, and up to 70,000 new cases are diagnosed every year. Among them are 80,000 children. Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that researchers have found affects black children much worse than white children.

What is Crohn's disease?

Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the gastrointestinal area that causes such symptoms as chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fatigue. A recent study at Nationwide Children's Hospital Center for Innovation and Pediatric Practice uncovered both racial and environmental differences that result in black children with Crohn's disease being 1.5 times more likely to end up in the hospital due to the disease, and sooner than white children.

Why is it worse for black children?

Crohn's disease often leads to vitamin D deficiency and anemia. The study, involving 4,000 black and white patients age 21 or younger, showed that black children with Crohn's are much more likely to end up in the hospital requiring further treatment for the disease. The reasons, according to the study, seem to stem from both a biological difference and economic factors.

The biological factors indicate that Crohn's affects black children differently than white children. In addition, many black children lack sufficient access to health care and, as a result, are diagnosed later than white children. Although more research continues, the study does indicate that there is a need for medical professionals to be aware of the need for more intervention when it comes to black children diagnosed with Crohn's.

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