Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and indeterminate colitis, was previously thought of as a Western disease. IBD was also thought to mainly affect White people and people of Jewish heritage in developed countries like the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK. However, these demographics are changing, and IBD is now considered a global disease.
A harmful and pervasive misconception is that IBD does not affect people of various ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Minority patients are sometimes told that they can’t have an IBD because they are of African, Latinx, Native American, or Asian descent. This leads to a delay in diagnosis and care, which for IBD, can result in significant complications that negatively affect every aspect of a person’s life.
In this limited podcast series, we explore the ways in which the healthcare system is underserving minority and LGBTQ patients who live with an IBD. We cover the spectrum of this issue including the lack of research in minority populations, how cultural ideas around nutrition affect patients, how patients of color can be better supported, and how legislation can play a role.
As a long-term IBD patient myself, it’s my goal to help physicians, industry, and legislators understand how inequalities affect the IBD community and what they should be doing to improve patient care.
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Healthcare Disparities in IBD is written, produced, and directed by Amber Tresca.
Theme music, mix, and sound design is by Cooney Studio.
Molodecky NA, Soon IS, Rabi DM, et al. Increasing incidence and prevalence of the inflammatory bowel diseases with time, based on systematic review. Gastroenterology. 2012;142:46-e30. doi:10.1053/j.gastro.2011.10.001