Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 53, Issue 10, pp 2754–2760 | Cite as

Racial Differences in Disease Extent and Severity in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis: A Retrospective Cohort Study

  • Mark H. Flasar
  • Sandra Quezada
  • Priti Bijpuria
  • Raymond K. Cross
Original Paper


Introduction Ulcerative colitis (UC) is increasing in African-Americans (AA). The objectives of this study were to assess disease extent and severity in UC by race. Methods Disease extent and severity was assessed in UC outpatients evaluated at the University of Maryland and Baltimore VA from 1997 to 2005. Results About 197 patients were identified; 47 were AA (23%). Of AA, 23% had proctitis, 23% had left-sided colitis, and 53% had extensive colitis compared to 10%, 31%, and 59% of Caucasians, respectively (P = 0.056). African-Americans were less likely to ever receive steroids (45% versus 62%; P = 0.065), be treated with ≥2 courses of steroids (54% versus 68%; P = 0.242) or be steroid dependant (33% versus 46%; P = 0.304). After adjustment, only female gender (OR 0.32, [0.16–0.66]) and age at diagnosis (OR 2.50, [1.28–4.90]) were associated with extensive colitis. Being seen at UMMS (OR 5.10, [2.60–10.10]) was associated with steroid use. Conclusion Race was not associated with extent of colitis or disease severity in UC.


Ulcerative colitis Inflammatory bowel disease Race African-American Disease severity 





Confidence interval


Inflammatory bowel disease


Odds ratio


Relative risk


Ulcerative colitis



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Robert Sawyer, M.D. and Ms. Lee Burhman for their contribution to this project and to Jean-Pierre Raufman, M.D. for his assistance in the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark H. Flasar
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sandra Quezada
    • 2
  • Priti Bijpuria
    • 2
  • Raymond K. Cross
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Veterans AffairsMaryland Health Care SystemBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of MedicineUniversity of Maryland School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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