Rural residents at lower risk of inflammatory bowel disease: CHEO-led study
People who live in the city have 10 per cent higher risk of IBD, which includes Crohn's and colitis
A new study shows that people living in rural areas, and young children in particular, are at a lower risk of developing inflammatory bowel disease.
Researchers at the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario, the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, and the Canadian Gastro-Intestinal Epidemiology Consortium discovered that environmental factors can either help or hinder gastrointestinal health.
"Our findings show that children, particularly those under the age of 10, experience a protective effect against IBD if they live in a rural household," said Eric Benchimol, lead author of the study published Tuesday in the American Journal of Gastroenterology.
Lifelong health conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis fall under the umbrella of IBD. The symptoms can include an inflamed digestive tract, abdominal pain and weight loss.
Canada has one of the highest rates of IBD in the world, with cases rising among young children, according to the researchers.