Epidemiology of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Israel: A Nationwide Epi-Israeli IBD Research Nucleus Study

Mira Y. Stulman, Noa Asayag, Gili Focht, Ilan Brufman, Amos Cahan, Natan Ledderman, Eran Matz, Yehuda Chowers, Rami Eliakim, Shomron Ben-Horin, Shmuel Odes, Iris Dotan, Ran D. Balicer, Eric I. Benchimol, Dan Turner*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Background: There are currently no nationwide data on the epidemiology of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in Israel. We aimed to determine the population-based epidemiological trends of IBD in the diverse Israeli population. Methods: Health-administrative data were retrieved from all 4 Israeli health maintenance organizations, insuring 98% of the population, using validated identification algorithms. National trends were determined using Joinpoint regression analysis calculating annual percent change and average annual percent change (AAPC). Results: By 2019, there were 46,074 patients with IBD in Israel, corresponding to a national prevalence of 519/100,000 (0.52%), of whom 54.1% had Crohn disease (CD) and 45.9% had ulcerative colitis (UC). The number of Jewish patients doubled from 18,701 in 2005 (354/100,000) to 38,950 (589/100,000) in 2018 (AAPC, +4.0%; P < 0.05), and the number of Arab patients increased 3-fold from 1096 (102.1/100,000) to 3534 (240.7/100,000; AAPC, +6.8%; P < 0.05) during the same years. However, the increase rate has gradually decelerated over time (annual percent change during 2005-2008, 2009-2014, and 2005-2018 was +6.7%, +4.2%, and +2.3%, respectively; P < 0.05). Pediatric prevalence increased from 37.4 to 52.2/100,000, with CD predominating in both Jews and Arabs. The incidence of CD remained stable (from 15.9/100,000 to 14.9/100,000) and the incidence of UC decreased (15.4/100,000 to 10.5/100,000 (AAPC,-3.2%; P < 0.001)). In contrast, pediatric incidence of CD increased from 7.3/100,000 to 8.3/100,000 (AAPC, +1.9%; P < 0.05) and that of UC increased from 2.6 to 4.4/100,000 (AAPC, +5.8%; P < 0.05). Conclusions: The IBD prevalence rate in Israel is still increasing but gradually decelerating, probably due to the decreasing overall IBD incidence. Nonetheless, incidence rate in children is still increasing. Ongoing narrowing in the rates between Jews and Arabs over time may indicate shared environmental factors.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1784-1794
Number of pages11
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.


  • Crohn disease
  • epidemiology
  • inflammatory bowel diseases
  • population-based
  • ulcerative colitis


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