Study shows increasing rates of IBD keeps pace with industrialization

By Dominic Kleinknecht
Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. It has a pathology that has come with increased wealth and standard of living, and has been rising in prevalence in North America, Europa, and Australia since the 1950s. It has recently reached a plateau, but the western world has been grappling with the mounting challenge of IBD for the last century. Research from Dr. Gilaad Kaplan from the Cummings School of Medicine at the University of Calgary and Siew Ng, PhD, from the Chinese University in Hong Kong indicates that the cycle of emergence and plateauing of IBD has also been entered in formerly less developed countries. They brought together data from all population-based studies reporting on IBD since 1990 and found that IBD emerged and dramatically rose in incidence in countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East that have become more and more westernized recently, which made IBD a global disease at the turn of the 21st century. Kaplan and Ng point out that identifying environmental risk factors during the early stages of industrialization should now be prioritized in order to lay the groundwork for coordinated, global prevention strategies of IBD to tackle this costly disease. Their findings will be presented at the World Congress of Gastroenterology on Oct. 16 in Orlando, Florida.


University of Calgary. (2017, October 20). Increase in inflammatory bowel disease in developing world predicted: Study shows increasing rates of IBD keep pace with industrialization. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 28, 2017 from