New report on IBD in Canada shows a significant rise in children's cases

Department of Pediatrics associate professor contributes to the report

Tamara Vineberg - 27 November 2018

The prevalence of Crohn's and colitis in Canadian children has risen more than 50 percent in the last 10 years, says the 2018 Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada report. Matthew Carroll, associate professor in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, is the first author for the pediatric section of the report, prepared for Crohn's and Colitis Canada.

There are over 7,000 Canadian children (under age 18) living with Crohn's or colitis. Children with the disease have different complications, respond differently to treatments and are at greater risk of side effects of medication as compared to adults.

"Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic, debilitating, disease that can severely impact quality of life. Canada has amongst the highest rates of IBD reported in the world and so the impact of this disease is of national importance," says Carroll.

"Onset of IBD is typically during adolescence or young adulthood which means sufferers are faced with many, many years of health related needs ahead of them. Of particular concern is the rising rates of disease among very young children and the potential impact this can have on their normal growth and development."

This report is a comprehensive analysis of the impact of IBD in Canada and, importantly, highlights the health economic impact that Canada faces with estimates that one per cent of Canada's population will be living with IBD by 2030. It stresses the importance for ongoing research into prevention and treatment; it demonstrates the need for multidisciplinary teams capable of addressing the complex nature of IBD management; it discusses future directions for much needed advocacy efforts and the need for increased awareness and understanding amongst the general public and healthcare professionals alike.

The report recommends that research funding needs to be improved for people with IBD, including children, seniors and pregnant women. Other recommendations include timely and appropriate access to gastrointestinal specialists, a public health campaign to raise awareness about IBD and better access to medications.

Read the report and its findings