Younger Immigrant Children in Canada Found to Be at Higher Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Younger Immigrant Children in Canada Found to Be at Higher Risk for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) in Canada recently showed that children of immigrants to Canada have an increased risk for developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The study was published in The American Journal of Gastroenterology (AJG) and is entitled “Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Immigrants to Canada And Their Children: A Population-Based Cohort Study.” IBD is a chronic inflammatory condition of the digestive tract that primarily comprises ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. It is characterized by vomiting, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, diarrhea, internal cramps in the pelvis region, fatigue and weight loss. IBD can lead to life-threatening complications such as iron deficiency anemia. Canada has one of the highest IBD rates in the world with approximately 240,000 Canadians with the disease. Ontario in particular has a very high IBD rate of 1 per 160 individuals, and the fastest growing group of new IBD diagnoses is children under 10 years of age. It is thought that this recent rapid IBD increase might be linked to environmental risk factors. “IBD is a disease of Westernized nations, with high rates in North America and Europe, and low rates in Asia, Africa, and South America. Rates increased dramatically in Eastern Europe in recent decades and are increasing in other nations as Western lifestyle becomes more prevalent,” noted the study’s first author Dr. Eric Benchimol in a news release. The aim of this study was to elucidate the link between IBD risk and environmental factors. A population-based cohort study was conducted where the incidence of IBD was assessed between immigrants from low disease prevalence countries to Ontario in Canada, and
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