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Help Celebrate World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day On 19 May

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects over 20,000 New Zealanders. Most are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 45 years but can also be diagnosed in childhood.

IBD includes two diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These are chronic conditions with no cure. People who are affected have a range of gut symptoms including abdominal pain, bleeding from the bowel and diarrhoea. They can also have fatigue, poor appetite and weight loss.

Studies from New Zealand in 2004 and 2014 have demonstrated that Canterbury has one of the highest rates of Crohn’s disease in the world. IBD researchers from NZ and around the word have been contributing to two important initiatives to help people with IBD and increase our understanding of how IBD affects people around the world.


IOIBD GIVES (Global IBD Visualization of Epidemiology Studies) is an international initiative to summarize epidemiological data on the burden of IBD throughout the world. We have collected published data on epidemiological parameters such as the incidence and prevalence of IBD. The data is displayed in an online interactive map that allows the user to click on a country and see all the published data from the selected country. Please explore the map by following this link:


Surveillance Epidemiology of Coronavirus Under Research Exclusion (SECURE-IBD) is an international, pediatric and adult database to monitor and report on outcomes of COVID-19 occurring in IBD patients. Many people with IBD receive drugs that suppress the immune system in order to reduce the inflammation in the gut. However, these drugs could possibly increase the risk of infections. SECURE-IBD enables researchers to understand the effect of COVID-19 on people with IBD. This will allow us to make robust recommendations to people with IBD and their health care providers to reduce the risks during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please explore the registry by following this link:

Chances are you know someone personally with IBD. Don’t be shy to show them your support, especially on Tuesday 19th May.

Useful contacts:

World IBD Day:

Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand:



Issued by Professor Richard Gearry, on behalf of the Executive of the New Zealand Society of Gastroenterology. Visit:

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