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Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Aug;17(8):1778-83. doi: 10.1002/ibd.21550. Epub 2010 Nov 15.

Incidence trends of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease in Finland, 1987-2003, a nationwide study.

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Pediatric Research Centre, University of Tampere, Finland.



The present study aimed to characterize the incidence of pediatric inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in Finland and determine its temporal trends.


The patients' data were based on the database of the Social Insurance Institution. New cases diagnosed with IBD at the age <18 years in Finland between years 1987-2003 were included. Annual incidence rates were calculated per 100,000 pediatric populations (with 95% confidence intervals [CI]). The country is divided into 21 hospital districts and regional differences were evaluated accordingly.


The incidence of pediatric IBD increased from 5 per 100,000 in 1987 to 15 per 100,000 in 2003. The average rate of increase was 6.5% per year (95% CI 5.4%-7.5%). The trends were comparable for boys and girls, also by age group. Information on disease subtype was available from 1992 and during this 12-year period the incidence of Crohn's disease (CD) increased from 2-5 per 100,000 and that of ulcerative colitis (UC) from 4-9 per 100,000.


Our results demonstrate a very high incidence rate for childhood IBD and in particular UC in Finland. Furthermore, a rapid increase took place nationwide in the incidence of both CD and UC during the past two decades.

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