The contribution of environmental factors, diet, and related issues like the status of the microbiome once again come into focus in a recent medical article.
A Canadian study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology linked living in a rural area with a lower risk of inflammatory bowel disease. The protective effect was particularly strong among children living in a rural household for the first five years of life, and data show an overall IBD incidence of 30.72 per 100,000 people in rural areas, compared with 33.16 per 100,000 people in urban areas.
“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,” Dr. Eric Benchimol, scientist at ICES and a pediatric gastroenterologist at the CHEO Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. “This effect is particularly strong in children who are raised in a rural household in the first five years of life. These are important findings since our previous work shows that the number of very young children being diagnosed with IBD has jumped in the past 20 years. The findings also strengthen our understanding that environmental risk factors that predispose people to IBD may have a stronger effect in children than adults.”