The number of children under the age of five who are being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is rising in Canada.
According to a report on CTV News, Canada has one of the highest rates of pediatric IBD cases in the world, and the number is rising. Researchers have discovered that cases of IBD in children younger than five increased by more than 7 percent each year between 1999 and 2010.
Approximately 600 to 650 children are diagnosed with IBD each year in Canada, and it’s estimated that there are around 3,000 youth living with the disease in the country. While the growth of IBD cases in children in general has increased over the past two decades — at around 2 percent each year — the higher rate in which the under-5s are now being diagnosed is cause for concern.
The exact cause of IBD is unknown but many scientists believe that a high-fat, high-sugar diet combined with low vitamin D levels could be contributing to the rise.
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