Epidemiology and disease burden of ulcerative colitis in Taiwan: A nationwide population-based study

Chung Yu Chen, Kun Tai Lee, Lee Charles Tzu-Chi, Wen Ter Lai, Yaw Bin Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: A rising trend of incidence and prevalence of ulcerative colitis (UC) had been noticed in Asian countries. We conducted this study to investigate the epidemiology and medical burden of UC in Taiwan. Methods: In this 10-year retrospective database study, we identified cases of patients with UC during 1998 to 2008 from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Patients who had a catastrophic illness certificate were included in epidemiology and medical burden calculation. Results: There were 1522 cases identified in our study period. The incidence increased twofold from 0.37 per 100,000 in 1998 to 0.78 per 100,000 in 2008. The incidence and prevalence had an increasing trend in our population. The cases onset age was 45.0 years on average. In our survey, most of the top 20 coexisting diseases were gastrointestinally relevant diseases, anemia (9.99%), and hypertension (7.69%). There were more than 70% patients using mesalamine, and the medical expenditure on mesalamine occupied the highest position in patients with UC. The average medical expenditure of patients with UC had a decreasing trend after 2001. Conclusions: This study had the largest sample and the longest study period for the epidemiology and medical burden estimation of UC in Taiwan. The incidence rates and medicine use of patients with UC had a definite rising trend across the years in Taiwan. Patients with anemia or choric diseases were observed in our population. More surveillance of UC-related diseases and health care costs need to be conducted in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalValue in Health Regional Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May
Externally publishedYes


  • Disease burden
  • Epidemiology
  • Medical expenditures
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy


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