The number of hospitalizations for children with inflammatory bowel disease has increased dramatically in the United States during the past decade, according to a study.
The new study is described as the largest investigation of its kind. As published this month on the website of Journal of Investigative Medicine, researchers found a 65% increase in IBD hospital discharges between 2000 and 2009. The number increased from 11,928 discharges in 2000 to 19,568 in 2009.
When looking at the two major types of IBD individually, the researchers found a 59% increase in Crohns disease discharges and a 71% increase in ulcerative colitis discharges.
The researchers examined more than 11 million hospitalization records of patients ages 20 and younger using a federal childrens inpatient database. For the decade, they identified more than 61,000 pediatric discharges with an IBD diagnosis.
According to the studys principal investigator, Thomas J. Sferra, MD, division chief of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland and associate professor of pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, this increasing trend was present in each age category and across all geographic regions.
“The reason for this large increase in hospitalizations of children with IBD is not clear,” Sferra said in a news release. “We also found an increase in IBD-related complications and co-existing conditions, which suggest an increase in the severity of this disease has contributed to a greater need for hospitalization. However, we will need to perform more research to determine whether patients were admitted to the hospital due to IBD or for an unrelated medical condition.
“Also, while were seeing more kids being discharged with IBD, we cannot with certainty say that the incidence and prevalence of childhood IBD has increased in the U.S.”
The trend found by this nationwide study reflects what appears to be a phenomenon that has been reported for specific regions within the US and for other countries such as Canada, Scotland and Finland, according to the researchers.
Read the study abstract: http://bit.ly/17AZfnI.