The peak incidence of Crohn's disease occurs in patients between 15 and 22 years of age, with a secondary peak at age 55 to 60 years. The prevalence varies from 10 to 100 cases per 100,000 population and the incidence from 1 to 7 cases per year per 100,000 population in the United States. The incidence of Crohn's disease has been increasing over the past 20 years.1 There is a 20 to 30 percent increased risk of Crohn's disease among women as compared with men. The disease has a worldwide distribution but is more frequent in people of European extraction. It is four times more common among Jews than non-Jews and is more common in whites than blacks, Asians, or Native Americans. A family history of inflammatory bowel disease is present in 10 to 15 percent of patients. Ulcerative colitis as well as Crohn's disease may be present in other family members, and siblings of patients with Crohn's disease have a higher incidence of the disease.
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