Few data are available to describe the changes in incidence of pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The aim of this study was to describe changes in incidence and phenotypic presentation of pediatric-onset IBD in northern France during a 24-year period.
Pediatric-onset IBD (<17 years) was issued from a population-based IBD study in France between 1988 and 2011. Age groups and digestive location were defined according to the Paris classification.
1,350 incident cases were recorded (8.3% of all IBD) including 990 Crohn's disease (CD), 326 ulcerative colitis (UC) and 34 IBD unclassified (IBDU). Median age at diagnosis was similar in CD (14.4 years (Q1=11.8-Q3=16.0)) and UC (14.0 years (11.0-16.0)) and did not change over time. There were significantly more males with CD (females/males=0.82) than UC (females/males=1.25) (P=0.0042). Median time between onset of symptoms and IBD diagnosis was consistently 3 months (1-6). Mean incidence was 4.4/105 for IBD overall (3.2 for CD, 1.1 for UC and 0.1 for IBDU). From 1988-1990 to 2009-2011, a dramatic increase in incidences of both CD and UC were observed in adolescents (10-16 years): for CD from 4.2 to 9.5/105 (+126%; P<0.001) and for UC, from 1.6 to 4.1/105 (+156%; P<0.001). No modification in age or location at diagnosis was observed in either CD or UC.
In this population-based study, CD and UC incidences increased dramatically in adolescents across a 24-year span, suggesting that one or more strong environmental factors may predispose this population to IBD.