People living in developing countries might struggle with rising cases of inflammatory bowel disease due to increasing industrialisation, warns a study published in The Lancet journal. IBD affects over 0.3 per cent of the population in North America and Europe.
“IBD is a modern disease, growing in prevalence in North America, Europe and Australia since the 1950s,” said Gilaad Kaplan, an associate professor at University of Calgary in Canada.Researchers found that as countries in Asia, South America and the Middle East have become industrialised, IBD has emerged and its incidence is rising dramatically.
At the turn of the 21st century, it became a global disease, researchers said. “Over the past 100 years, the incidence of IBD in western countries has climbed and then plateaued,” said Gilaad Kaplan, an associate professor at University of Calgary in Canada.
“Our research shows that countries outside the western world now appear to be in the first stage of this sequence,” Kaplan said. Researchers studied data from all population-based studies reporting on the incidence or prevalence of IBD since 1990.
“As newly industrialised countries become more westernised, we can clearly see that the incidence of IBD is also rapidly rising,” said Siew Ng, PhD, at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. As IBD becomes a global problem, researchers are hopeful that a co-ordinated solution to prevent and treat IBD around the world could be possible.
“Future research should focus on identifying environmental risk factors observed during the early stages of industrialisation,” Ng said.