Background Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is understood to result from the interaction of genetic, immunological and environmental factors. There has been a marked increase in the incidence of IBD over the last 25 years, suggesting environmental factors are important.
A previous study found a higher incidence of Coeliac disease in the least deprived socioeconomic groups.1 The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between IBD and socioeconomic position.
Methodology Bristol Children’s Hospital is the single regional centre where all children with suspected IBD from the South-west of England are referred. Data was collected prospectively on all children diagnosed between May 2004–March 2013. Socioeconomic status was determined by quintile rank of Index of multiple deprivation score (IMD-10 score) based on postcode at diagnosis. This has been shown to provide a nationally consistent measure of how deprived an area is. Population data was obtained from the 2011 Census. Data was analysed using Pearson Chi Squared test. Children with a postcode outside of the City of Bristol were excluded from the analysis.
Results 384 children aged 0–17 years were diagnosed with IBD over the study period of which 50 had a postcode of residence within the City of Bristol. The incidence of IBS was higher in the three lower socio-economic classes compared to the two highest socio-economic classes (see Figure 1). However, the difference in incidence between the socio-economic classes was not statistically significant.
Conclusion Our data suggests a higher incidence of diagnosed IBD in children from lower socioeconomic classes which may favour an environmental aetiology. However this did not reach statistical significance, possibly due to small numbers. A larger study is warranted.
Whitburn and Sandhu. Coeliac disease and relationship to socio-economic status. Arch Dis Child 2013;98:A86