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Escalating epidemiology of eosinophilic esophagitis: 21 years of prospective population-based documentation in Olten county
Title of the conference
Digestive Disease Week 2011
Chicago, Illinois, United-States, May 7-11, 2011
Publication type : Meeting Abstract
Background and Aims: Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is detected with a dramatically increasingfrequency during the last decades. However, it is still unknown whether this reflects atrue increase in incidence or just an increased awareness by gastroenterologists. We therefore,prospectively assessed incidence and prevalence of EoE in an epidemiologically well definedindicator area over the last 21 years. Methods: Olten County is an area of approximately90,000 inhabitants without pronounced demographic changes during the last two decades.Two EoE-experienced gastroenterologists and one pathology centre are responsible forcovering the gastroenterological service of the area. No public programs for increasingawareness of EoE were implemented in this region. Since 1989 all individuals with confirmeddiagnosis of EoE living in Olten County were entered prospectively into the database. Results:Forty-six patients (76% males, mean age 41±16 yrs) were diagnosed with EoE between1989 and 2009. Ninety-four percent of patients presented with dysphagia. An average annualincidence rate of 1.88/100,000 was found (range 0-8) with a marked increase in the periodfrom 2004 to 2009. The cumulative EoE prevalence rose up to 35.1/100,000 inhabitantsin 2009. No significant change was observed for the median diagnostic delay, as it was 3years from 1989 to 1998 and 2 years from 1999 to 2009 with age < 40 years representinga risk factor for retarded diagnosis. The number of upper endoscopies per year increasedby 63% in the period from 1999 to 2009 compared to the years 1989 to 1998 which ismarkedly less then the increase in the incidence rate of 150% for the same periods. Conclusions:Over the last 21 years, a significant increase in EoE incidence and prevalence wasfound in an epidemiologically stable indicator region of Switzerland. The constant diagnosticdelay, the number of newly diagnosed EoE cases that was much more pronounced thanthe modest increase of performed upper endoscopies, as well as the lack of EoE awarenessprograms in Olten County indicates a true increase in EoE incidence.
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