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Many Faces of IBD

Incidence rates
for IBD are rising
among people of color,
yet some people of color
underserved in IBD care1.
We invite you to learn more

about the challenges they face.

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A Patient's Perspective

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Hear from Melodie Narain-Blackwell,
President and Founder of Color of Gastrointestinal Illnesses (COGI)

“As both a patient and a patient advocate,
I’ve seen firsthand the devastating impact
that health inequities can have on BIPOC

All of us can learn more about how we can
work together to ensure high-quality,
equitable care for all patients.

Join us in our mission to achieve health
equity for all.”

Many patients of color face challenges in the diagnosis
and treatment of IBD. Here is a look at some data.

Incomplete testing for IBD diagnosis

A single-center retrospective study evaluated inpatient and outpatient encounters among
patients with iron deficiency anemia and chronic diarrhea without a diagnosis of IBD
(N=83) and found that Black patients had

IBD Demographics

Limitations: Because this study was conducted with a data set from a single medical center, results are not generalizable to the broader US population. Further, the study found that there may be a correlation between race and insurance status and thus did not incorporate insurance status in the same multivariate model to avoid collinearity.2

Less likely to see the appropriate specialist

Less likely to see the appropriate specialist

A survey used phone interviews with Black (n=137) and White (n=149) patients with IBD from 2005 to 2008.

IBD Demographics

aAfter adjusting for age, age at diagnosis, sex, comorbidity, health insurance payer, educational attainment, income, and prolonged steroid use3

Limitations: The patient population was from a tertiary medical center, which often includes more patients with chronic steroid use and more-severe illness than would be observed in a community setting. Health utilization data were based on patients self-reporting. Medical records used in the study might not provide a comprehensive assessment of healthcare utilization; most patients received care at additional healthcare institutions. Patients in this study may not represent the larger IBD patient population.3

IBD Patient A IBD Patient A

Decreased access to pharmacies

Decreased access to pharmacies

An analysis of the availability and geographic accessibility of pharmacies in the 30 most populous US cities was conducted from 2007 to 2015, looking for “pharmacy deserts.”4,a

IBD Demographics

aDefined as a neighborhood >1 mile from the nearest pharmacy or a neighborhood >0.5 mile from the nearest pharmacy where >20% of residents are low income and >100 households lack access to cars.

Limitations: The study may have underestimated the availability and geographic accessibility of preferred pharmacies because Black and Hispanic/Latino neighborhoods are more likely to have independent stores that are disproportionately excluded from preferred pharmacy networks. Data were evaluated from the 30 most populous US cities based on total, not minority, population. Therefore, cities with persistent racial/ethnic residential segregation and a large minority population but with fewer than 500,000 residents were not included in these analyses.4

IBD Patient B IBD Patient B

What’s next?

Together, we can work to tackle these complex issues. Let’s start by truly listening to patients–including those in marginalized communities–and working to help every person living with IBD get the care that they need and deserve.

Learn more about shared decision-making in IBD at

For information and resources to support your patients with UC, visit

BIPOC=Black, Indigenous, and people of color, CD=Crohn’s disease, CI=confidence interval, GI=gastroenterologist, IBD=inflammatory bowel disease, OR=odds ratio, UC=ulcerative colitis.

References: 1. Aniwan S, et al. Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2019;12:175628481982769. 2. Anyane-Yeboa A, et al. Dig Dis Sci. 2021;66:2200-2206. 3. Nguyen GC, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2010;105(10):2202-2208. 4. Guadamuz JS, et al. Health Aff (Millwood). 2021;40(5):802-811.