Posted 6/23/2010 3:43 AM (GMT -7)
I agree that the disease is highly individualistic but I also have seen stats on UC for a very broad range of situations. If you really want to know, you can find out pecentages for many different situations like prognosis based on age of onset, country/continent you are located on, severity at onset, extent at onset, etc.
If I saw one syaing 50% of people's UC will get worse when half use meds regularly and half don't, but the half that did use meds have a 25% greater chance of staying the same or getting better with successive flares, that motivates me to be vigilant with my meds. Also, I probably would have never tried any of these supplements like turmeric or boswellia if it hadn't been for the awesome statistics showing how effective they can be. I'd be much more willing to follow the SCD more than just trying to avoid breads most times if they had data to back it up.
Of course, you can never pinpoint exactly what is giong to happen with future patients based on a study no matter how specific you are. That's why if a study was done on 10 year olds diagnosed with mild left sided UC between 1998-2000 in Timbuktu with no family history, and equal acess to meds and their administration, whatever they're studying will still be a percentage that is not 0% and not 100%. But the more specific you find stats to your situation the closer you could predict it.
Like with the 40% with colectomy rates. That is the highest percentage I have seen and the numbers vary widely. That 40% is probably an old study conducted when taking out the colon was more of a treatment than a last resort kind of thing. If you charted the percentages of colectomies based on when the study was done, you'd probably see a sharp downward trend and a much lower percentage in a very recent study. Then again, a decade from now, we might have a sharp increase in some as-of-yet undefined side affect from the new drugs many of us are and will be taking to allow us to keep our colons. [img]/community/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]
I seem to be on the opposite side of the fence on this from some of you, and I am certainly not trying to argue or say I'm right or anyone else is wrong, but I am a numbers guy an think they can help with my UC. Like the shirt my statistics teacher wore that was a rip-off of the X-files: "The X-bar files: I want to believe, but I'm going to need to see some data first."