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During 1976, 50 patients were admitted to two general hospitals for the investigation or treatment of nonspecific inflammatory bowel disease. There were more patients admitted with Crohn's disease (23) than proctocolitis (11). Half of those patients admitted with Crohn's disease required surgical treatment, the majority for small bowel obstruction. Five patients were admitted for the treatment of an acute attack of proctocolitis; these patients were all previously undiagnosed, were all admitted urgently and all responded to medical treatment.