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Rising Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Among Children: A 12-year Study

Malaty, Hoda M*,†; Fan, Xiaolin; Opekun, Antone R*,§; Thibodeaux, Carolyn§; Ferry, George D§

Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition: January 2010 - Volume 50 - Issue 1 - p 27–31
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0b013e3181b99baa
Original Articles: Gastroenterology

Objective: Data suggest an increase in the incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). We examined the trend of the incidence of IBD in children.

Patients and Methods: A retrospective investigation was conducted on a cohort of children diagnosed with IBD between 1991 and 2002 who were registered in the IBD center at Texas Children's Hospital. The diagnosis of IBD was based on clinical, radiological, endoscopic, and histological examinations.

Results: There were 272 children eligible for the analysis; 56% diagnosed with Crohn disease (CD), 22% with ulcerative colitis (UC), and 22% with indeterminate colitis. The male-to-female ratio was 1.2:1 in CD, 0.6:1 in UC, and 0.8:1 in indeterminate colitis. From 1991 to 2002, the incidence rate has doubled from 1.1/100,000/year (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.85–1.36) to 2.4/1001,000/year (95% CI 2.10–2.77). This trend was valid for CD but not for UC. Whites had higher incidence rate of IBD than African Americans or Hispanics: 4.15/100,000/year (95% CI 3.48–4.82) versus 1.83/100,000/year (95% CI 1.14–2.51), and 0.61/100,000/year (95% CI 0.33–0.89), respectively. African Americans were predominantly diagnosed with CD.

Conclusions: The results demonstrate the rising incidence of IBD among children with evidence of more CD than UC. Recognition of these results will have important implications for diagnosis and management of IBD in children.

*Department of Medicine, USA

Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Division of Biostatistics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, USA

§Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, USA.

Received 15 January, 2009

Accepted 30 June, 2009

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Hoda M. Malaty, MD, Ph.D, Veterans Affairs Medical Center (111D), 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030 (e-mail:

This work is supported by a grant from UCB Pharmaceutical.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.