Researchers from Edinburgh, Scotland, documented the incidence of juvenile-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) between 1981 and 1995 in Scotland. They also examined the temporal trends between 1968 and 1995.
A previous study reported a 3-fold rise in the incidence of juvenile-onset Crohn's disease (CD), in Scottish children, and a marginal fall in ulcerative colitis (UC) between 1968 and 1983.
Four Scottish urban centers, each with a population of over 100,000, were included in the study.
The Scottish hospital discharges database was used to identify 1002 patients less than 19 years old who were coded as having IBD between 1981 and 1997.
All case notes were reviewed and diagnoses verified.
Incident cases were defined as those with symptom onset before or at 16 years of age, between 1 January 1981 and 31 December 1995.
During the 15-year period, 438 incident cases of CD and 227 of UC were identified, giving standardization incidences of 2.5 CD cases and 1.3 UC cases per 100,000 population per year.
On 31 December 1995 there were 150 children ≤ 16 years of age with CD and 101 with UC, giving crude prevalences of 13.7 cases per 100,000 population for CD and 9.2 for UC.
| Prevalence of Crohn's has increased by 30% since 1983.
| European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology |
The continuing rise in CD incidence between 1981 and 1995 fitted with that predicted by linear trend analysis of the 1968-1983 data.
The team found that the incidence of CD in the 12-16 age range almost doubled between 1981 and 1995, and was far greater for males than females.
UC incidence was thought to show a slight fall in the 1968-1983 data, but this was reversed in the 1981-1995 data.
Author Emma Armitage, of the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, said on behalf of her colleagues, "The incidence of juvenile-onset CD continues to rise in Scotland. The prevalance has increased by 30% since 1983.
"Unlike the previous report form Scotland, the incidence of juvenile-onset UC is also apparently rising."
"Whether this represents a real rise in incidence, or merely the inclusion of milder cases, which were not previously hospitalized, remains uncertain," she concluded.