Pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is increasingly recognized in developing countries; however, the incidence and trend over time have not been reported.
This retrospective study included children diagnosed with IBD in gastroenterology centers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia between 2003 and 2012. The date of birth, date and age at diagnosis, gender, and final diagnosis were collected on special forms. Clinical, laboratory, imaging, endoscopy, and histopathology results were reviewed to confirm the final diagnosis. Descriptive statistics were used to compare ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease in different age groups, and significance was assessed by the chi-square test. Incidence rates and trend over time were analyzed with the assumption of Poisson distribution. The incidence rate over time was compared in 2 periods (2003-2007 and 2008-2012). A P value of <0.05 and 95% confidence intervals were used to assess the significance and precision of the estimates.
A total of 340 Saudi Arabian children aged 0 to 14 years were diagnosed. The mean incidence rate per 100,000 individuals was 0.2, 0.27, and 0.47 for ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and IBD, respectively. Except for the 0- to 4-year age group, there was a significant increase in incidence over time.
Although the incidence of pediatric IBD in Saudi Arabian children is lower than suggested in the Western literature, there is a significantly increasing trend over time. However, decreased trend in the younger age group over time is identified. Prospective studies will be important to identify the risk factors for IBD in different age groups.