Concern as more Scottish children get bowel disease

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A RISING number of children in Scotland are being diagnosed with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, according to a new study by Edinburgh researchers.

The study, led by Edinburgh University, said possible explanations for the rise in cases – up by more than 75 per cent in the past 13 years – could include poor diet, lack of sunlight and low levels of vitamin D.

The study found that between 2003 and 2008, 436 under-16s across Scotland were diagnosed with the chronic condition Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which includes instances of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

This figure compares with just 260 cases between 1990 and 1995, when Edinburgh researchers last examined rates of IBD in Scottish children.

David Wilson, the professor of paediatric gastroenterology and nutrition at the university, said: “Our work in Scotland has also shown that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affects a larger area of the bowel in children than it does in adults, making a diagnosis of either condition in childhood much more serious.”