The incidence of Crohn’s disease in Scottish children has increased steadily over 30 years.
Many studies have investigated genetic influence or possible links with childhood events.
Dr Armitage and colleagues in Edinburgh, Scotland aimed to study the sociodemographic and/or geographic distribution of juvenile-onset Crohn’s disease in Scotland.
The research team used a previously established and validated database covering the entire Scottish population.
In total, the researchers identified 580 Scottish children (<16 years of age at symptom onset) with inflammatory bowel disease incident between 1981 and 1995.
The research group then classed all postcodes of the incident cases for geographic location and material deprivation.
The researchers also sex standardized incidence rates (/100,000/year) to the 1991 census population.
|Incidence of juvenile-onset ulcerative colitis did not show north/south variation.|
The group also estimated the effects of sex, geographic location, time, and deprivation category from a multifactorial Poisson regression model.
The researchers found that the incidence of juvenile-onset Crohn’s disease for the time period 1981 to 1995 was significantly higher in northern than in southern Scotland.
The incidence of juvenile-onset ulcerative colitis did not show north/south variation.
In addition, the researchers found that the relative risks of developing CD were significantly lower in postcode areas with deprivation categories 2–7 as compared with deprivation score 1.
However, this pattern was not seen for UC.
Dr Armitage concluded, "There was an increased incidence of juvenile-onset Crohn’s disease in northern compared with southern Scotland."
"Children from more affluent areas had a higher relative risk of developing Crohn’s disease."
She added, "Juvenile onset ulcerative colitis did not show north/south variation in incidence or association with affluence."