Number of Canadian kids being diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease on the rise, study shows

Canada has one of the highest rates of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in the world and a new study shows the proportion of young children being diagnosed with the lifelong disease is on the rise.

Researchers found cases of the disease in children under age five went up by 7.2 per cent each year between 1999 and 2010.

Researchers hypothesize that alterations in the bacterial composition of the gut may be to blame and suggest early exposure to antibiotics, diet and low levels of vitamin D may be factors in that change.

The study, conducted by researchers belonging to the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium, is published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.