Trends in Epidemiology of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada: Distributed Network Analysis of Multiple Population-Based Provincial Health Administrative Databases

Am J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jul;112(7):1120-1134. doi: 10.1038/ajg.2017.97. Epub 2017 Apr 18.


Objectives: The incidence of pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing worldwide. We used population-based health administrative data to determine national Canadian IBD incidence, prevalence, and trends over time of childhood-onset IBD.

Methods: We identified children <16 years (y) diagnosed with IBD 1999-2010 from health administrative data in five provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec), comprising 79.2% of the Canadian population. Standardized incidence and prevalence were calculated per 100,000 children. Annual percentage change (APC) in incidence and prevalence were determined using Poisson regression analysis. Provincial estimates were meta-analyzed using random-effects models to produce national estimates.

Results: 5,214 incident cases were diagnosed during the study period (3,462 Crohn's disease, 1,382 ulcerative colitis, 279 type unclassifiable). The incidence in Canada was 9.68 (95% CI 9.11 to 10.25) per 100,000 children. Incidence was similar amongst most provinces, but higher in Nova Scotia. APC in incidence did not significantly change over the study period in the overall cohort (+2.06%, 95% CI -0.64% to +4.76%). However, incidence significantly increased in children aged 0-5y (+7.19%, 95% +2.82% to +11.56%). Prevalence at the end of the study period in Canada was 38.25 (95% CI 35.78 to 40.73) per 100,000 children. Prevalence increased significantly over time, APC +4.56% (95% CI +3.71% to +5.42%).

Conclusions: Canada has amongst the highest incidence of childhood-onset IBD in the world. Prevalence significantly increased over time. Incidence was not statistically changed with the exception of a rapid increase in incidence in the youngest group of children.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies