Characterized by inflammation and ulceration of the innermost lining of the colon, UC symptoms can often include unwanted weight loss, severe - sometimes uncontrollable - bloody diarrhea, fatigue and frequent abdominal pain. For some patients, symptoms may lead to surgical removal of the colon or to secondary complications such as colorectal cancer. Moreover, according to those surveyed, 40 percent of UC patients experience incapacitating symptoms at least 180 days per year and have spent an average of 22 days in the hospital over the past five years. Nevertheless, nearly half of those people surveyed believe the seriousness of UC and its impact on their lives is underestimated and misunderstood by friends, family members and employers.
"The severity of symptoms, some of which may require hospitalization or surgery, the stress of financial and occupational concerns, as well as strained social and family relationships highlight the debilitating nature of this disease," said Mark Goldman, Chairperson of the Board, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). "The effects of UC are indeed far-reaching."
The impact of UC on patients' lives, including work, family and social activities, is extensive. Respondents indicated that in the workplace, UC limited their ability to plan their work schedule, and almost 28 percent reported that they avoided taking a job or work promotion due to UC-related symptoms. Furthermore, more than 40 percent of men and women surveyed avoided intimate situations with a spouse or partner because of their disease and associated symptoms, while nearly 25 percent reported trouble maintaining a relationship with a spouse or partner. Beyond personal relationships, family relationships may also be affected by UC, as nearly 70 percent of respondents reported that the disease impacted relationships with their children. The Voices of UC survey was conducted by Manhattan Research on behalf of CCFA and sponsored by Centocor, Inc.
"It is important that our efforts focus on recognition and diagnosis to ease the burden that UC creates in patients' lives," said Gary R. Lichtenstein, MD, professor of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. "Moreover, we must continue to focus our research on effective treatments to help successfully manage this disease by reducing the frequency of symptom flare-ups, lessening corticosteroid use and decreasing the need for surgery."
About the Voices of UC Campaign
Voices of UC is a national education campaign designed to increase general understanding of the life-altering nature of UC. Raising awareness about UC will help those affected become better positioned to manage aspects of their lives affected by this disease. Visit www.voicesofuc.com for more information. The campaign is a collaboration between CCFA and Centocor, Inc.
The Voices of UC survey findings were determined through telephone research conducted with 1,000 people with UC. Survey respondents were identified through an opt-in database of U.S. consumers who requested health information based on their condition profile; people within this list who had UC were randomized to be included as part of the survey group. The population was wholly examined and further sub-segmented into the following age groups: 18 to 34 years of age, 35 to 54 years of age and 55+ years of age. The margin of error was +/-3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence interval.
About the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is dedicated to its mission to cure and prevent Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis through research, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults affected by these digestive diseases through education and support. In addition to funding outstanding research worldwide, CCFA offers a wide range of programs and services for patients and medical professionals, including webcasts, live education seminars, publications and support groups. For more information, contact CCFA at 800-932-2423 or visit www.ccfa.org.
Centocor is harnessing the power of world-leading research and biomanufacturing to deliver innovative biomedicines that transform patients' lives. Centocor has already brought innovation to the treatment of Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and ulcerative colitis.
The world leader in monoclonal antibody production and technology, Centocor has brought critical biologic therapies to patients suffering from debilitating immune disorders. Centocor, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, a worldwide manufacturer of healthcare products.
About Manhattan Research
Manhattan Research, LLC, is a marketing information and services firm that helps healthcare and life sciences organizations adapt, prosper and explore opportunities in the networked economy. Manhattan Research's focus is on healthcare business trends, seeking to understand the impact and forces that will change the competitive landscape and the long-term effects on organizational structure, customer behavior and competitive strategy.