Exploring UC

Burden of UC


Patients with UC face a substantial burden

People living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a significantly reduced health-related quality of life (QoL) compared with the general population.1

The impact of ulcerative colitis (UC) on QoL is multifaceted. It often affects individuals at a time in their lives when they are pursuing employment, building families and reaching key milestones.2

Disease impact

The burden of UC can be physical, financial and psychological.2
There is a high psychosocial burden on patients with UC during the course of their disease.3
“It’s a beautiful day at a park, but here I am, with my wife and my sons, desperately wishing I stayed at home…”
“I was too embarrassed to see my doctor…thoughts of an embarrassing procedure, having to do a stool test, all of that was dampening my desire to seek answers for my condition…”
“I am constantly fearful that I will have a flare-up, be hospitalised, or even worse, soil myself in public…”

Although the images above are fictional characters, the statements belong to real patients.

Looking beyond the symptoms

Looking beyond the symptoms of UC

Debilitating symptoms and the psychological stress associated with UC impede patients’ day-to-day lives and pursuits.1 Disease activity and psychological distress have been shown to significantly impair the QoL of individuals living with UC.1

72% of patients experience problems with sleep4,*,†

43% of patients experience depressive feelings4,*,†

38% of patients experience anxious feelings4,*,†

29% of patients experience problems participating in the community4,*

25% of patients experience problems with personal relationships4,*

21% of patients experience impairments in sexual function,5 with 31% of men and 80% of women with IBD reporting low or no interest in sex6

The impact of UC

The impact of UC on the professional lives of patients
Up to 98% of patients experience absenteeism (up to 60 days per patient-year)7

47% of patients report that UC has influenced their career choice8,‡

19% of patients are receiving a disability pension5

*Data from 424 Dutch patients with UC who completed the IBD disability index (IBD-DI) after 2 years of follow-up. The IBD-DI has been reported to be reliable, reproducible and sensitive for detecting disability.4
Percentage estimated from graphic data, ±1%.
Data from the UC-LIFE survey to assess patients’ perception of the impact of UC on their lives conducted in 38 outpatient clinics in Spain. Survey response rate was 74.5% (436 out of 585 patients with UC).8

Psychological interventions and effective medical therapy have demonstrated a positive impact
on QoL.1

REFERENCES: 1. Jones JL, Nguyen GC, Benchimol EI, et al. J Can Assoc Gastroenterol 2019;2(Suppl 1):S42–S48. 2. Benchimol EI, Bernstein CN, Bitton A, et al. J Can Assoc Gastroenterol 2019;2(Suppl 1):S1–S5. 3. Bokemeyer B, Hardt J, Hüppe D, et al. J Crohns Colitis 2013;7(5):355–368. 4. van der Have M, Fidder HH, Leenders M, et al. Inflamm Bowel Dis 2015;21(2):369–377. 5. Danese S, Allez M, van Bodegraven AA, et al. Dig Dis 2019;37(4):266–283. 6. Taft TH, Ballou S, Bedell A and Lincenberg D. Gastroenterol Clin North Am 2017;46(4):847–858. 7. Constantin J, Atanasov P, Wirth D and Borsi A. BMC Gastroenterol 2019;19(1):179. 8. Calvet X, Argüelles-Arias F, López-Sanromán A, et al. Patient Prefer Adherence 2018;12:1815–1823.


Unmet Needs

Many challenges associated with UC management remain to be addressed.

UC Pathophysiology

Learn about the pathways leading to inflammation in UC.