The incidence of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis has increased significantly over the last 30-50 years, especially in Western nations such as the United States, Europe, Canada and the United Kingdom. Australia and New Zealand show a similar increase in incidence to the rest of the world.
The graph below, adapted from published Australian research, shows that since the mid-1970s the incidence of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in Victorian children has increased significantly. In particular, Crohn’s disease shows a steeper rise while ulcerative colitis has increased more gradually. As a cure remains elusive at present, the number of children diagnosed annually with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is set to rise.
Further information about the prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in our community can be found under The Need for Research.