This blog I’m going to take a step back from genetics and take a look at a study presenting work from closer to home. Over the last decade there has been an increasing amount of research worldwide which suggests that the number of children diagnosed with IBD is continuing to increase. There have been many reasons suggested for this rise including the diagnosis of milder forms of the disease, changes in diet (more fat and refined sugars) and increasing antibiotic use in childhood. All these factors are difficult to tease out, but the more idea we have about this increase in new IBD diagnoses, the better placed we are to address the possible reasons.
Researchers all across Scotland (including myself and blog editor RH) have recently published the first study in the UK since 2001 to look at this possible increase. We compared the number of children diagnosed with IBD between 2003-2008 with the number diagnosed between 1990-1995. We found that there was a staggering 76% increase in new diagnoses of IBD and that children were slightly younger when first diagnosed. Also, looking at data over the last 40 years we also showed that there are 5 times as many children diagnosed with Crohn’s disease now than in the 1960s. We’re still a long way off determining the reasons for this rise but hopefully one of these blogs will be reporting on the study that reveals the answer some time in the future!
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