Rising incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in Scotland

Paul Henderson, Richard Hansen, Fiona Louise Cameron, Kostas Gerasimidis, Pam Rogers, W. Michael Bisset, Emma Reynish, Hazel E. Drummond, Niall Anderson, Johan Van Limbergen, Richard Kay Russell, Jack Satsangi, David C. Wilson

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158 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate indication of the changing incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) within a population is useful in understanding concurrent etiological factors. We aimed to compare the current incidence and other demographic attributes of PIBD in the Scottish population to previous data.
A national cohort of prospectively and retrospectively acquired incident cases of PIBD diagnosed less than 16 years old in pediatric services in Scotland was captured for the period 2003–2008; historical Scottish data were used for comparison (1990–1995). Age/sex-adjusted incidences were calculated and statistical comparisons made using Poisson regression.
During the 2003–2008 study period 436 patients were diagnosed with PIBD in Scotland, giving an adjusted incidence of 7.82/100,000/year. The incidence of Crohn's disease (CD) was 4.75/100,000/year, ulcerative colitis (UC) 2.06/100,000/year, and inflammatory bowel disease-unclassified (IBDU) 1.01/100,000/year. Compared with data from 1990–1995 when 260 IBD patients were diagnosed, significant rises in the incidence of IBD (from 4.45/100,000/year, P < 0.0001), CD (from 2.86/100,000/year, P < 0.0001), and UC (from 1.59/100,000/year, P = 0.023) were seen. There was also a significant reduction in the median age at IBD diagnosis from 12.7 years to 11.9 years between the periods (P = 0.003), with a continued male preponderance.
The number of Scottish children diagnosed with IBD continues to rise, with a statistically significant 76% increase since the mid-1990s. Furthermore, PIBD is now being diagnosed at a younger age. The reason for this continued rise is not yet clear; however, new hypotheses regarding disease pathogenesis and other population trends may provide further insights in future years.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)999-1005
Number of pages7
JournalInflammatory Bowel Diseases
Issue number6
Early online date17 Jun 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • inflammatory bowel diseases
  • epidemiology
  • Crohn's disease
  • ulcerative colitis
  • childhood


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