Trends in Epidemiology of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease in Canada: Distributed Network Analysis of Multiple Population-Based Provincial Health Administrative Databases


The incidence of pediatric-onset inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasing worldwide. We used population-based health administrative data to determine national Canadian IBD incidence, prevalence, and trends over time of childhood-onset IBD.


We identified children <16 years (y) diagnosed with IBD 1999–2010 from health administrative data in five provinces (Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec), comprising 79.2% of the Canadian population. Standardized incidence and prevalence were calculated per 100,000 children. Annual percentage change (APC) in incidence and prevalence were determined using Poisson regression analysis. Provincial estimates were meta-analyzed using random-effects models to produce national estimates.


5,214 incident cases were diagnosed during the study period (3,462 Crohn’s disease, 1,382 ulcerative colitis, 279 type unclassifiable). The incidence in Canada was 9.68 (95% CI 9.11 to 10.25) per 100,000 children. Incidence was similar amongst most provinces, but higher in Nova Scotia. APC in incidence did not significantly change over the study period in the overall cohort (+2.06%, 95% CI −0.64% to +4.76%). However, incidence significantly increased in children aged 0–5y (+7.19%, 95% +2.82% to +11.56%). Prevalence at the end of the study period in Canada was 38.25 (95% CI 35.78 to 40.73) per 100,000 children. Prevalence increased significantly over time, APC +4.56% (95% CI +3.71% to +5.42%).


Canada has amongst the highest incidence of childhood-onset IBD in the world. Prevalence significantly increased over time. Incidence was not statistically changed with the exception of a rapid increase in incidence in the youngest group of children.

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