A team from the United Kingdom conducted a prospective survey to determine the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the UK and the Republic of Ireland. There is the possibility that the incidence of IBD in Western countries is rising, although no previous prospective data has been documented.
The researchers prospectively identified cases of inflammatory bowel disease for 13 months, from 1 June 1998, to 30 June 1999.
Individuals less than 20 years who had been newly diagnosed with IBD were identified. Data were obtained on date of diagnosis, mode of presentation, results of investigation, and details of initial management. Cases who had initial diagnosis at less than 16 years were included in the study.
The mean age of diagnosis was found to be 11.9 years (the upper age cut-off was 16 years).
|Incidence of IBD during 1998 and 1999 was 5.2 per 100,000 per year.
58% of cases were reported to have Crohn's disease, 2% orofacial granulomatosis, 29% ulcerative colitis, and 12% indeterminate colitis.
The incidence of IBD during 1998 and 1999 was 5.2 per 100,000 per year in children aged younger than 16 years. The greatest rate of occurrence was among 14-year-olds, with an annual incidence of 16 per 100,000 children. A higher incidence was found in Scotland (6.5 per 100,000 per year) than the rest of the UK.
The incidence of IBD, as well as the proportion of Crohn's disease to ulcerative colitis and indeterminate colitis, was the same in children of an Afro-Caribbean background as that of White children.
A significantly greater proportion of Asian children had ulcerative colitis than other children (42% vs. 28%).
Researcher A. Sawczenko, of the Bristol Children's Hospital, England, said on behalf of the group, "The high incidence in Scotland could reflect a heightened awareness of IBD resulting from repeated surveys. However, it is of note that the apparent rate of increase during the last decade is similar to that reported in Sweden during a similar time period."
"We plan to repeat a similar survey in 3 years' time to document any changes in the epidemiology of pediatric IBD," the team concluded.