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The overall incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease IBD in children in Canada is one of the highest in the world and is on the rise. It has increased from 7.9 per 100,000 children in 1999, to 10.6 per 100,000 in 2009.
As reported by Eric Benchimol, MD, and colleagues, the incidence of IBD has stabilized in children over the age of 5 years. However, the incidence is rising rapidly in children under 5-years-old. These are important findings, since these children will live longer with the disease.Data came from five provinces -- Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec -- and comprised 79.2% of the Canadian population.
Out of the total of 5,214 new cases, 3,462 were diagnosed with Crohn's disease, 1,382 ulcerative colitis, and 279 unclassifiable.
Prevalence at the end of the study period in Canada was 38.25 per 100,000 children, with an increase of 4.56% per year over time.
The cause of the increase in IBD cases was not identified. However, one possibility is that a change in gut bacterial flora related to early life exposure to antibiotics, diet, or lower levels of vitamin D in Canadians may be responsible.
Benchimol E, et al "Trends in epidemiology of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in Canada: distributed network analysis of multiple population-based provincial health administrative databases" Am J Gastroenterol 2017; DOI: 10.1038/ajg.2017.97.