People Living in a Rural Area Less Likely to Develop Bowel Disease, Study Finds

People Living in a Rural Area Less Likely to Develop Bowel Disease, Study Finds
Living in a rural area decreases a person’s risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease, particularly for children and teenagers, a Canadian study reports. The findings are of particular interest to Canada because the country has one of the world's highest rates of IBD. Those who took part in the research were from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute,  the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium. The study was published in the American Journal of Gastorenterology. The title was "Rural and Urban Residence During Early Life is Associated with a Lower Risk of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Population-Based Inception and Birth Cohort Study." "Our findings show that children, particularly those under the age of 10, experience a protective effect against IBD if they live in a rural household," Dr. Eric Benchimol, the study's lead author, said in a press release. "This effect is particularly strong in children who are raised in a rural household in the first five years of life. These are important findings, since our previous work shows that the number of very young children being diagnosed with IBD has jumped in the past 20 years," he said. "The findings also strengthen our understanding that environmental risk factors that predispose people to IBD may have a stronger effect in children than adults." The study focused on the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and Ontario. Researchers found 45,567 patients diagnosed with IBD in the four provinces between 1999 and 2010. Most — 38,905 —  lived in cities. But 6,662 were from rural areas. The team calculated the incidence of IBD in rural areas at 30.72 per 100,000 person-years, versus 33.16 per
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