There have been few population-based studies of health care used by children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Dr Harminder Singh and colleagues from Canada identified all children with IBD in the population-based University of Manitoba IBD Epidemiology Database.
The team matched 651 children with IBD for age, sex, and area of residence with 5950 children without IBD, and followed up for a total of 6419 and 53,875 person-years, respectively.
The researchers extracted and analyzed data on IBD type, diagnosis before or after 2002, age, sex, ambulatory care visits and hospitalizations before and after diagnosis, comorbidities, exposure to IBD drugs, and surgeries.
|The 8-year actuarial rate of colectomy for those with ulcerative colitis was 8%|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
Children with IBD were more likely to have visits for gastrointestinal symptoms in each of the 4 years before IBD diagnosis than controls, with no significant effect of era of diagnosis.
The research team found that children with IBD had more physician encounters for psychosocial diagnoses in the 6 months before or after the IBD diagnosis, as well as in the second year after IBD diagnosis, than controls.
The team noted that 56% of children with IBD were exposed to corticosteroids within the year after their diagnosis, with no decrease over eras of follow-up evaluation.
Among children diagnosed from 2002 through 2010, the 8-year actuarial rate of colectomy for those with ulcerative colitis was 8%, and the rate of resective surgery for Crohn’s disease was 10%.
The team observed that both of these values were lower than for children diagnosed from 1987 through 2001.
Dr Singh's team concludes, "In a population-based study from Canada, children with IBD were more likely to have visits for gastrointestinal symptoms in each of the 4 years before IBD diagnosis than children without IBD, indicating a potential delay in diagnosis of this disease."
"Rates of surgery are decreasing among children with IBD."