A study led by the Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island found that the incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Rhode Island is one of the highest ever reported in the United States and that IBD rates nationally are much higher than previously reported. The increased prevalence of IBD suggests that more research into the causes of IBD and development of more targeted treatments are necessary.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an immune-mediated chronic inflammation of your gastrointestinal tract. Normally, the cells and proteins that make up the immune system protect you from infection. In people with IBD, however, the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign or invading substances. When this happens, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines, where they produce chronic inflammation and ulcerations—called an autoimmune response.
There are two types of IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis; both manifest as chronic immune-mediated inflammation of your gastrointestinal system. While they both cause similar symptoms, they are managed differently. Crohn’s disease may affect any part of your gastrointestinal system, from your mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis, however, is limited to the colon, otherwise known as the large intestine.
It is estimated that 1.4 million Americans have IBD, which tends to run in families and affects males and females equally.
The study, recently published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, examined the statewide incidence of IBD by reviewing medical records from all practicing adult and pediatric gastroenterologists in Rhode Island, as well as practices in Connecticut and Massachusetts that may care for RI residents, to determine the true incidence of IBD in Rhode Island between the years 2008-2010.
A total of 971 Rhode Islanders were identified as having IBD by the study team. This is an average incidence of approximately 30 cases of IBD per 100,000 persons in this three-year time frame with 15.1 and 13.9 per 100,000 diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, respectively. The incidence of IBD in Rhode Island was found to be among the highest in the world and higher than that previously reported from US populations in Minnesota and Northern California. In comparison, Minnesota previously reported an incidence of 8.8 and 7.9 per 100,000 for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease between 1990-2000, while the Northern California group reported incidences of 12 and 6.3 for ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease between 1996-2002.
The study authors concluded that the incidence of IBD in the United States appears to be increasing, and that further research is critical to addressing the rising prevalence of IBD and providing better treatments to the growing patient population, especially when it comes to pediatric patients.
Reference: Hasbro Children’s Hospital. (2016.) Hasbro Children’s Hospital Study Shows Incidence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in RI Among the Highest in the Country, While National Rates Continue to Grow. [Press release.] Retrieved from http://www.hasbrochildrenshospital.org/Newsroom/News.aspx?NewsId=74647/Hasbro-Children%E2%80%99s-Hospital-Study-Shows-Incidence-of-Inflammatory-Bowel-Disease-(IBD)-in-RI-Among-the-Highest-in-the-Country-While-National-Rates-Continue-to-Grow/