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Epidemiology of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease: A systematic review of international trends

Benchimol, Eric I. MD, PhD1,2,3,4,5; Fortinsky, Kyle J. BSc1,2; Gozdyra, Peter MA5; Van den Heuvel, Meta MD4; Van Limbergen, Johan MD, PhD3,4; Griffiths, Anne M. MD3,4

doi: 10.1002/ibd.21349
Pediatric Review Articles

Background: Temporal trends in the incidence of pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are controversial and a wide range of estimates have been reported worldwide. We conducted a systematic review of research describing the epidemiology of childhood-onset IBD to assess changes in incidence rates over time and to evaluate international differences.

Methods: The following electronic databases were searched for articles published 1950–2009: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, and Cochrane IBD/Functional Bowel Disorders Group Specialised Trial Register. All included studies reported incidence or prevalence of IBD, Crohn's disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC). Two authors independently completed the data extraction form for each eligible study. Choropleth maps demonstrated the international incidence of IBD, CD, and UC. Incidence of CD and UC was graphed using data from studies reporting rates in multiple time periods.

Results: The search yielded 2209 references and review resulted in 139 included studies from 32 countries. A wide range of incidence was reported internationally; however, rates of IBD were not described in most countries. Twenty-eight studies (20.1%) used statistical analysis to assess trends over time, and 77.8% reported statistically significantly increased incidence of pediatric IBD. Of studies calculating statistical trends in CD incidence, 60% reported significantly increased incidence. Of similar UC studies, 20% reported significantly increased incidence.

Conclusions: Globally rising rates of pediatric IBD (due primarily to the rising incidence of CD) was demonstrated in both developed and developing nations; however, most countries lack accurate estimates. Analyzing incidence trends may help identify specific environmental and genetic risk factors for pediatric IBD. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2011;)

1Department of Pediatrics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada

2Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, Canada

3Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada

4Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada

5Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, Canada

Reprints: Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, 401 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada, K1H 8L1


Received 31 March 2010; Accepted 2 April 2010

The first two authors contributed equally to this work.

© Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.
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