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Arch Pediatr. 2000 Apr;7(4):377-84.

[Incidence of inflammatory bowel disease in children in Brittany (1994-1997). Breton association of study and research on digestive system diseases (Abermad)].

[Article in French]

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Département de médecine de l'enfant et de l'adolescent, Hôpital Sud, Rennes, France.



The aim of this work was to determine in Brittany the incidence and main clinical pattern of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) occurring during childhood. These data are compared to the previous epidemiologic data available from the Northern France registry or around the world.


Private and public Brittany gastroenterologists (2,836,418 inhabitants including 618,049 children under 17 years of age) referred all patients consulting for inflammatory bowel disease from January 1994 to December 1997. An interviewer-practitioner completed at the gastroenterologist's office a standard questionnaire for each patient. Each case was independently reviewed by four experts in a blind manner and made a final diagnosis of Crohn's disease (CD), ulcerative colitis (UC), or ulcerative proctitis and acute colitis (onset of symptoms < 6 weeks) or unclassified chronic colitis.


Among 1,309 cases recorded, 88 were under 17 years of age (6.7%): 43 (49%) had CD (including three possible cases), 14 (16%) had UC (including three proctitis), 24 (27%) acute colitis and 7 (8%) unclassified chronic colitis. The crude mean annual incidence (per 100,000 children) based on definite and probable cases only was 2.5 for IBD, 1.6 for CD and 0.57 for UC, without variation between 1994 and 1997. The male/female ratio was 2.3 for CD and 1.3 for UC. The mean time between onset of disease and diagnosis was equal to 7.2 and 8.6 months for CD and UC respectively (median: 3 and 5 months). A familial history of IBD was present in 5 cases (8%). In CD, the small and large bowel were involved in 58% of patients, whereas an isolated involvement of small or large bowel occurred in 15% and 23% of cases. Among the 14 UC, there were three proctitis and four pancolitis. Among 43 CD, a granuloma was present in 48% of cases.


In Brittany the incidence of CD and UC in childhood was similar to the published data from Northern France. Clinical presentation and symptoms were not different. However, the rate of acute colitis was higher and the accurate incidence of IBD could be underestimated, requiring a follow-up to classify these cases.

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