Limited data are available on the frequency of inflammatory bowel diseases in East European countries. A recent study from Hungary reported an increasing incidence rate for ulcerative colitis (from 1.6 to 11.0) and for Crohn's disease (from 0.4 to 4.7) from 1977 to 2001. A similar trend was seen in Croatia. In contrast, other countries (for example, Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Baltic countries) reported low incidence and prevalence rates. This review will discuss the available data on the epidemiology of inflammatory bowel diseases in Eastern Europe, as well as consider the possible factors responsible for the differences seen between countries and epidemiological trends.
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