SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Adrian Bridgwater, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman

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Crohn's Disease & Ulcerative Colitis Costs the US in the Billions

IBD Affects 1.4 Million Americans

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - December 02, 2013) - The estimated direct cost for all patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) in the US is $1.84 billion. In an effort to end inflammatory bowel disease and raise awareness for patients and families dealing with these painful, incurable diseases, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) gears up for Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week on December 1-7, 2013.

"Awareness Week gives us a great opportunity to expand our reach and impact," said Richard J. Geswell, President and CEO of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America. "This year we are focusing on sharing some of the very exciting things that are happening on the research front. We are making tremendous progress which is why continuing to fund research is more important than ever."

Known collectively as inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affects 1 in 200 people in the United States. They are painful, medically incurable diseases that attack the digestive system. Crohn's disease may attack anywhere along the digestive track, while ulcerative colitis inflames only the large intestine (colon). Symptoms may include abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss. Many patients require numerous hospitalizations and surgery.

Due to the enactment of Senate Resolution 199, the week of December 1-7 is reserved to encourage all Americans to join in the effort to find cures for inflammatory bowel diseases, help raise awareness and support research for the 1.4 million Americans battling Crohn's and colitis.

The Senate Resolution 199 expresses appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support Americans living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. It also commends health care professionals who care for these patients and biomedical researchers who work to advance research aimed at developing new treatments for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

In support of Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Week, the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America is asking people to:

Visit www.ccfa.org to learn more about the diseases and get more patient resources, including CCFA's IBD Help Center (http://www.ccfa.org/living-with-crohns-colitis/talk-to-a-specialist/)

About CCFA
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is the largest voluntary non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). CCFA's mission is to cure Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improve the quality of life of children and adults who suffer from these diseases. The Foundation works to fulfill its mission by funding research, providing educational resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public, and furnishing supportive services for those afflicted with IBD. For more information, visit www.ccfa.org, call 888-694-8872, like us on Facebook, find us on Pinterest, LinkedIn or follow us on Twitter.

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