Ulcerative colitis (like Crohn’s Disease) has become more common through the 20th century. Within Europe the disease is more common in northern countries although recently the incidence has increased in lower incidence Southern and Eastern countries. Current estimates suggest the incidence ranges from 0.5-24.5/100,000.
The Epicom cohort has suggested a higher incidence of IBD in western compared to Eastern Europe, although the rate of increase is higher in Eastern Europe.
The environmental causes for this increase are largely unknown.
In total 0.3% of the European population suffer from IBD with more than 3 million patients.