Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is emerging as a global condition, with prevalence increasing in different regions across the world, new research shows.
Researchers from the American Gastroenterological Association conducted a systematic review of all population-based studies on IBD.
The results showed cases of IBD have increased or remained stable across virtually every region studied, with incidents highest in Europe and Canada.
While IBD is considered rare in developing nations, cases have increased as the countries become more industrialised.
Gilaad G. Kaplan, MD, MPH, of the University of Calgary and lead author of the study, said the research is "important for the identification of geographic patterns and time trends".
"Our findings will help researchers estimate the global public health burden of inflammatory bowel disease so that appropriate health-care resources are allocated, and targeted research is conducted in specific geographic regions."
The two main types of IBD are Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect around one in every 250 people in the UK.