Significant Racial and Ethnic Disparities Exist in Health Care Utilization in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2024 Mar 1;30(3):470-481. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izad045.

Parul Tandon 1Tarun Chhibba 1Navneet Natt 2Gurmun Singh Brar 1Gurpreet Malhi 3Geoffrey C Nguyen 1


Author information

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mount Sinai Hospital, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

2Department of Medicine, Northern Ontario School of Medicine, Ontario, Canada.

3Department of Medicine, Western University, London, Ontario, Canada.


Background: The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is rising worldwide, though the differences in health care utilization among different races and ethnicities remains uncertain. We aimed to better define this through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Methods: We explored the impact of race or ethnicity on the likelihood of needing an IBD-related surgery, hospitalization, and emergency department visit. Pooled odds ratios (ORs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated with I2 values reporting heterogeneity. Differences in IBD phenotype and treatment between racial and ethnic groups of IBD were reported.

Results: Fifty-eight studies were included. Compared with White patients, Black patients were less likely to undergo a Crohn's disease (CD; OR, 0.69; 95% CI, 0.50-0.95; I2 = 68.0%) or ulcerative colitis (OR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.40-0.83; I2 = 85.0%) surgery, more likely to have an IBD-hospitalization (OR, 1.54; 95% CI, 1.06-2.24; I2 = 77.0%), and more likely to visit the emergency department (OR, 1.74; 95% CI, 1.32-2.30; I2 = 0%). There were no significant differences in disease behavior or biologic exposure between Black and White patients. Hispanic patients were less likely to undergo a CD surgery (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.48-0.68; I2 = 0%) but more likely to be hospitalized (OR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.01-1.88; I2 = 37.0%) compared with White patients. There were no differences in health care utilization between White and Asian or South Asian patients with IBD.

Conclusions: There remain significant differences in health care utilization among races and ethnicities in IBD. Future research is required to determine factors behind these differences to achieve equitable care for persons living with IBD.

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