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The rising prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in Canada: analyzing the past to predict the future

Coward S, Clement F, Benchimol EI, Bernstein CN, Bitton A, Carroll MW, Hazlewood G, Jelinski S, Jones J, E Kuenzig E, Leddin D, McBrien K, Murthy S, Nguyen GC, Otley A, Rezaie A, Pena-Sanchez J, Singh H, Targownik L, Kaplan GG (2018) JCAG March 2018, 1, Issue suppl 2: 47–48, 

Web URL: Read the research on academic.oup here



The prevalence of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), consisting of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), is rising in Canada. Because IBD is a complex and costly disease, estimates of changing prevalence over time are necessary to inform the Canadian healthcare system on the evolving burden of IBD.


To analyze historical prevalence and predict the future prevalence of IBD in Canada.


Annual population-based prevalent cohorts from Alberta (2002–2015), Manitoba (1990–2013), Ontario (1999–2014), Quebec (2001–2008), and Nova Scotia (1996–2009) were obtained from the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium. Data were adjusted based on annual age and sex distribution in Canada. Log binomial regression on adjusted data was performed with either a linear, linear spline, or restricted cubic spline model, depending on model fit, and yielded average annual percentage change (AAPC) with 95% confidence intervals (CI). Predictive models for CD, UC, and IBD to 2030 were calculated for each province, and then combined into a single model for Canada with provincial data from 2002 to 2008. Prediction intervals (PI) were calculated for predicted prevalence.


Prevalence of CD, UC, and IBD for each province in 2008 and provincial predicted prevalence in 2018 and 2030 is reported in Table 1. The estimated prevalence of IBD in Canada in 2008 was 489 per 100,000 persons. In Canada, the predicted AAPC after 2008 is: CD: 2.76% (95%CI:2.74–2.78%); UC: 2.90% (95%CI:2.88–2.92%); and IBD 2.88% (95%CI:2.87–2.90%) (Figure 1). The prevalence of IBD in Canada is predicted to climb to 0.95% in 2030 (Table 1, Figure 1), which represents an increase in the number of people with IBD in Canada from 257,564 (95%PI:254,356–260,772) in 2018 to 388,042 (95%PI:381,808–394,276) in 2030.


By 2030, 0.95% of the Canadian population is predicted to have IBD. Clinical and policy driven healthcare innovations are required over the next decade to stem the impact of IBD in Canada and ensure these individuals receive the necessary care.