Younger immigrants at higher risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease

March 10, 2015, Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute

The younger a person is when they immigrate to Canada, the higher their risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and its major subtypes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, according to a study by researchers at the University of Ottawa, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES) and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). Canada has one of the highest rates in the world of IBD and while immigrants to Canada have lower rates of IBD compared to Canadian-born residents, that risk goes up in immigrants who are younger at arrival to Canada. In addition, Canadian-born children of immigrants from some regions have a higher risk of developing IBD.

While their parents were at lower risk of developing IBD, once they arrive the children of immigrants from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia had the same incidence of IBD compared with the children of non-immigrants. In fact, there is a 14 per cent increased risk per younger decade of life at immigration. However, the children of immigrants from East Asia, Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean had lower incidence of IBD compared with the children of non-immigrants.

"These findings suggest an increased risk of IBD when there is early-life exposure to the Canadian environment in immigrants from some regions," said Dr. Eric Benchimol, adjunct scientist with ICES, and pediatric gastroenterologist at CHEO.

The study, published today in American Journal of Gastroenterology, is the first population-based study to demonstrate the increased risk in the children of to Canada. This indicates that the environment plays an important role in IBD pathogenesis.

"IBD is a disease of Westernized nations, with high rates in North America and Europe, and low rates in Asia, Africa, and South America. Rates increased dramatically in Eastern Europe in recent decades and are increasing in other nations as Western lifestyle becomes more prevalent," added Benchimol.

Canada has some of the highest rates of IBD (Crohn's disease and ) in the world with 240,000 Canadians affected. Ontario has a very high rate of IBD (1/160 people), and the fastest growing group of new diagnoses is children under 10-years-old. The recent rapid increase in IBD suggests .

Explore further: Ontario has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world

More information: "Inflammatory bowel disease in immigrants to Canada and their children: a population-based cohort study," was published in American Journal of Gastroenterology.

Related Stories

Ontario has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world

August 28, 2014
One in every 200 Ontarians has been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the number of people living with the disease increasing by 64 per cent between 1999 and 2008, according to a study by researchers at ...

Chronic narcotic use is high among kids with IBD

February 9, 2015
Chronic narcotic use is more than twice as prevalent in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), compared with children without this disease, according to a new study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, ...

Flu vaccine safe for children with IBD, study shows

May 6, 2013
Influenza immunization rates in children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are low despite its safety according to a new study by researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences (ICES), Children's Hospital ...

New insight into inflammatory bowel disease

March 5, 2015
The development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be influenced through a protein in the gut leading to inflammation according to research.

Study finds dramatic increase in hospitalization of US children with inflammatory bowel disease

June 25, 2013
The largest investigation to date has found a dramatic increase in the number of hospitalizations for children with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) during the past decade in the United States.

Improving lymphatic function protects mice from experimental colitis

August 8, 2014
Chronic inflammatory bowel disease can be painful and debilitating. Both genetics and environment are thought to promote disease, but it is not fully understood how chronic IBD develops. Emerging evidence indicates that IBD ...

Recommended for you

Tibetan sheep highly susceptible to human plague, originates from marmots

August 16, 2018
In the Qinghai-Tibet plateau, one of the region's highest risk areas for human plague, Himalayan marmots are the primary carriers of the infectious bacterium Y. pestis. Y. pestis infection can be transmitted to humans and ...

Autoimmunity plays role in development of COPD, study finds

August 16, 2018
Autoimmunity plays a role in the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study led by Georgia State University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center that analyzed human genome information ...

Reliable point-of-care blood test can help prevent toxoplasmosis

August 16, 2018
A recent study, performed in Chicago and Rabat, Morocco, found that a novel finger-prick test for infection with the parasite Toxoplasma gondii during pregnancy—and many other potential applications—is 100 percent sensitive ...

Scientists identify nearly 200 potential tuberculosis drug targets

August 16, 2018
Tuberculosis is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. Nearly 2 million people die every year from this infectious disease, and an estimated 2 billion people are chronically infected. The only vaccine, developed almost ...

First mouse model to mimic lung disease could speed discovery of more effective treatments

August 16, 2018
The biggest hurdle to finding effective therapies for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) – a life-threatening condition in which the lungs become scarred and breathing is increasingly difficult – has been the inability ...

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure

August 15, 2018
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.