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We would like to comment on the paper by Professor S Shivananda and colleagues (Gut 1996;39:690–7), which examined whether there was a difference in the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) between northern and southern Europe.
Shivananda et al. conducted an epidemiological study across Europe from 1991 to 1993, and concluded that IBD, which includes ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD), is possibly not more frequent in the north than in the south.
Although their results are solid and groundbreaking, they did not manage to provide an explanation of the geographic distribution of the disease. A possible reason is that they did not include countries from Eastern Europe in their study.
Recent data from this area give us the opportunity to examine this …
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