The original aims of this Concerted Action were:
- To measure the incidence of proctocolitis and Crohn's disease in the North and South of Europe in a prospective study using common criteria of case-definition, uniform approach to case-ascertainment and a Common Protocol.
- To standardize and harmonize methodologies and protocols in epidemiologic research in the field of IBD between the North and South of Europe.
- To examine the relationship between (a) smoking and the use of steroid contraceptives and (b) the incidence of the two types of IBD and to assess the extent to which they cluster in families in different parts of Europe.
- To stimulate local studies of dietary and other possible risk factors, the results of which could help to formulate new hypothesis for further study.
EC-IBD is a descriptive survey of the incidence of symptomatic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the North and South of Europe. It is based on the hypothesis that there is a real difference in the incidence of IBD between the North and South of Europe and that this may reflect differences in life-style, environment and human adaptation. Interim results confirm this hypothesis.