METHODS: Patients with CD who were seen in 2001-2003 in the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) were enrolled in this study. Prevalence of disease was calculated for the group as a whole and by race with hospital admissions per ethnic group as the denominator.
RESULTS: Thirty-four patients were diagnosed to have CD. Basic demographic data of patients; male:female 17:17; mean age 29.1 years (+/-13.5 years); ethnic group: Malays 5 (14.7%), Chinese 12 (35.3%) and Indians 17 (50%).Twenty-six (76.5%) were diagnosed under the age of 40 and 8 (23.5%) were diagnosed over the age of 40. Location of the disease was as follows:ileocolonic 13 (38.2%), terminal ileum only 9 (26.5%), colon only 8 (23.5%), and upper gastrointestinal 4 (11.8%). Sixteen (47.1%) had penetrating disease, 9 (26.5%) had stricturing disease and 9 (26.5%) had non-penetrating and non-stricturing disease. The hospital admission prevalence of CD was 26.0 overall, Indians 52.6, Chinese 6.9, and Malays 9.3 per 10(5) admissions per ethnic group. The difference between Indians and Malays: [OR 5.67 (1.97, 17.53) P<0.001] was statistically significant but not between the Indians and the Chinese [OR 1.95 (0.89, 4.35) P=0.700]. The difference between the Chinese and the Malays was also not statistically significant. [OR 2.90 (0.95, 9.42) P=0.063].
CONCLUSION: The clinical presentation of CD is similar to the Western experience. Although the overall prevalence is low,there appears to be a clear racial predominance among the Indians.