[Chronic inflammatory bowel disease in children. An epidemiological study from eastern Denmark 1998-2000].Ugeskr Laeger. 2002 Dec 02; 164(49):5810-4.UL
The purpose of this retrospective study was to investigate the epidemiology and anthropometrical status in children and adolescents with chronic inflammatory bowel disease in Denmark during the period 1998-2000.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Patients from the eastern part of Denmark below 15 years of age were included. The study covered 43% of the total pediatric population (< 15 years) in Denmark. Data from the patient records were used to register diagnosis, area of living, age when presenting symptoms, age at diagnosis, height, weight, and disease location for Crohn's disease at the time of the diagnosis.
A total of 98 patients < 15 years with inflammatory bowel disease were identified in the period 1998-2000. Fifty patients had ulcerative colitis, 44 had Crohn's disease, and four had indeterminate colitis. The mean annual incidence of inflammatory bowel disease was 4.3 (1.8 for ulcerative colitis, 2.3 for Crohn's disease, and 0.2 for indeterminate colitis) per 100,000 children < 15 years. The mean annual prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease was 15.8 per 100,000 children < 15 years (ulcerative colitis: 8.3; Crohn's disease: 6.7; indeterminate colitis: 0.8). A subpopulation of Crohn's disease patients with growth retardation was found. Undernutrition was also common among children with Crohn's disease. Eighty-three percent had an age-related BMI below the 50-percentile.
Compared to an earlier Danish investigation, the incidence of Crohn's disease had risen 11-fold whereas the incidence of ulcerative colitis remained at the same level. The subpopulation with growth failure and low age-related BMI among children with Crohn's disease is in line with data described in the literature.