Highest Reported Prevalence Rates for Eosinophilic Esophagits

A recent retrospective study (J Robson et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2019; 17: 107-14) utilized a pathology database encompassing the vast majority of Utah pediatric cases to determine the incidence and prevalence of eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) from 2011 to 2016.

The authors determined cases of EoE by looking for symptomatic children with isolated esophageal eosinophilia (more that 14 eos/hpf) in the absence of other comorbid conditions.

Key findings:

  • 1060 children met the criteria for a new diagnosis of EoE
  • Average annual incidence of EoE was 24 per 100,000 children; this is nearly double the previously reported rate 12.8 per 100,000 from Hamilton County, Ohio in 2003.
  • Prevalence of EoE was 118 per 100,000 children

The authors speculate on several factors that produced this increased incidence rate –all related to EoE risk factors:

  • Predominant non-Hispanic White population
  • High rates of atopy
  • Increased capture rate of their database
  • Also, the authors did NOT exclude PPI-responsive esophageal eosinophilia (which is a subtype of EoE and not a different disease

The authors note that “there is reason to believe that this [high incidence rate] is a conservative estimate:”

  • ~2% of pathology reports had 10-14 eos/hpf.  Further review of these cases would likely have identified some which have exceeded the >14 threshold
  • Some pediatric EoE cases are diagnosed by adult gastroenterologists who did not use the pathology databases

My take: This study shows high rates of EoE but comes as no surprise.  And, there are likely a large number of individuals with mild EoE which has not been diagnosed.  In my experience, families and physicians often overlook altered eating habits as related solely to behavior.  Useful questions to uncover dysphagia include the following: how long does it take your child to eat? does your child have to drink a lot of liquids when eating? does food get stuck frequently?

Related blog posts:

 

Global Prevalence of Celiac Disease

Briefly noted: P Singh et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2018; 16: 823-36. After a systemic review which selected 96 articles from a pool of 3843 published between 1991 through 2016, the authors determined a pooled global prevalence of 1.4% in 275,818 individuals based on seroprevalence (positive TTG or EMA).  Biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was noted in 0.7% in 138,792 individuals.

In their study, biopsy-proven disease was most prevalent in Argentina, Egypt, Hungary, Finland, Sweden, New Zealand, and India.

Related blog posts:

 

Northern Latitudes -Higher Prevalence of Celiac Disease and Gluten Avoidance

A recent study (A Unalp-Arida et al. Gastroenterol 2017; 152: 1922-32) examines the relationship of latitude and the prevalence of celiac disease and gluten avoidance.

Using the NHANES 2009-2014 survey with 22,277 participants (6 years and older), the authors identified persons with celiac disease (based on serology) along with those who avoided gluten without a diagnosis of celiac disease.

Key findings:

  • 0.7% of participants had celiac disease and 1.1% avoided gluten without celiac disease
  • Celiac disease was more common among individuals who lived at latitudes of above 35 degrees and more common with higher socioeconomic status. Figure 2 map provides latitude lines. In the eastern U.S. the Georgia-Tennessee border corresponds to this latitude line and in the western U.S. the southern tip of Nevada lies on this line.
  • From 35 degrees to 39 degrees the odds ratio was 3.2, whereas the odds ratio was 5.4 for those above 40 degrees.  These odds ratios were independent of race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status and body mass index.
  • Similarly, the prevalence of gluten avoidance without celiac disease was twice as common among persons living north of 40 degrees compared with those residing at latitudes <35 degrees.
  • The findings on latitude were heavily influenced by the increased rate of celiac and gluten avoidance in the Northeast region (more so than in the West)

In their discussion, the authors note that “a North-South gradient in disease occurrence in genetically similar populations has been shown in studies of autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.” Potential environmental factors could include lack of sunshine/vitamin D deficiency, hygiene, and infections.  A study comparing similar populations in Finland and Russia suggested a lower economic status/less hygiene increased the risk of celiac disease despite similar gluten exposure.  The authors note that there was NOT an increased risk in Northern Sweden compared to Southern Sweden.  In fact, this study of children found a higher rate of celiac disease in Southern Sweden (Arch Dis Child 2016; 101: 1114-18).

My take: This is another intriguing study regarding celiac disease epidemiology which strongly points to environmental factors accounting for marked variation in celiac disease prevalence.

More information on this topic from AGA Blog: Do More People Have Celiac Disease in the North vs the South?

Related blog posts:

Piedmont Park, Atlanta

More IBD Cases Than Ever in Young Canadian Children

Summary of recent article (Link to full study: Benchimol EI, et al. Am J Gastroenterol. 2017;doi:10.1038/ajg.2017.97) by Healio Gastroenterology: IBD incidence rapidly increasing in young Canadian children

An excerpt:

To evaluate the recent incidence, prevalence and trends in childhood-onset IBD in Canada, Benchimol and colleagues used health administrative data from five provinces to identify children aged younger than 16 years who were diagnosed with IBD between 1999 and 2010. During this period, 3,462 children were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, 1,382 with ulcerative colitis and 279 with unclassifiable IBD, for an overall IBD incidence of 9.68 (95% CI, 9.11-10.25) per 100,000 children.

Throughout the study period, the annual percentage change in overall IBD incidence remained statistically stable, increasing by just 2.06% per year, but the incidence increased significantly among children aged younger than 5 years, rising by 7.19% per year.

Further, the annual percentage change in the prevalence of IBD increased significantly throughout the study period (4.56%), and at the end of the study period IBD prevalence was 38.25 (95% CI, 35.78-40.73) per 100,000 children.

The investigators noted their findings confirmed the predominant form of pediatric-onset IBD was Crohn’s disease, and that more boys were affected than girls.

My take: While Canada has high prevalence of IBD, I expect that there will be similar trends in epidemiology in multiple regions in young children.  When one looks at the increases in IBD prevalence over the last 100 years (see previous post) and the emergence of IBD in non-Western countries, it is quite alarming.

Also, last week a blog post discussed hepatic problems associated with IBD (Liver problems with IBD): here is full article text link: Hepatic Issues and Complications Associated with IBD

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Achalasia -Updated Epidemiology

In this new era of high resolution manometry, there is an increasing incidence of achalasia.

Briefly noted:

JA Duffield et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017; 15: 360-5. In this study from South Australia, using a large database (2004-2013), the annual incidence of achalasia was between 2.3 and 2.8 per 100,000 persons. Mean age at diagnosis was 62 years.

S Samo et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2017; 15: 366-73. In a similar study from Chicago, the authors estimated that the yearly city-wide incidence averaged 1.07 per 100,000; however the average in the neighborhood closest to the hospital (and possibly with better case capture) was 2.92 per 100,000.

My take: These studies identified incidence rates that are about double the rates that were reported prior to the availability of high resolution manometry.

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Nutrition Week (Day 7) Connecting Epidemiology and Diet in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A supplement in Gastroenterology (2017; 152: 309-462) provides a great update on a lot of topics.  These include pathophysiology articles (eg. role of Paneth cell, role of microbiome), treatment/development of fibrosis, management advances in endoscopy and biomarkers, newest treatments and emerging treatments, complementary medicine approaches, pain/psychology issues, medications in pregnancy, and detecting dysplasia.

For me, the update on epidemiology and its relationship to diet (pgs 313-321) as well as the review on diet as a trigger or therapy for inflammatory bowel disease (398-414) were most interesting.  Though, I will keep the update on complementary and alternative medicines article at my desk in case questions come about this topic

GG Kaplan, SC Ng. “Understanding and Preventing the Global Increase of Inflammatory Bowel Disease”  Gastroenterology 2017; 152: 313-321

Epidemiology:

1st case of ulcerative colitis was reported in 1859.  !st cases of Crohn’s disease reported in 1932 (BB Crohn et al. JAMA 1932; 99: 1323-29).

Olmstead County, Minnesota –cases per 100,000:

  • 1965: 28
  • 1980: 90.5
  • 1991: 132.7
  • 2001: 213.9
  • 2011: 246.7

While rates of IBD have “shown signs of stabilization…pediatric-onset IBD continues to increase steadily in incidence.”

IBD Around the World –cases per 100,000:

  • 2005 Japan: 76
  • 2005 S Korea: 42
  • 2013 India: 9.3
  • 2013 China: 3.3.  The greatest incidence is noted in areas of increased urbanization and economic advancement.
  • 2005: Brazil: 9.7

Environmental factors/associations:

  • Cigarette smoking –increases risk of Crohn’s disease in Western countries, and has protective effect against Ulcerative colitis
  • Antibiotic use –increases risk of IBD in Western countries, but may be protective in developing countries.  “Antibiotic-induced dysbiosis may not develop as easily in developing countries, owing to ubiquitous exposure to a diverse range of microbiota that rapidly repopulate the intestinal tract.”
  • Breastfeeding –protects against developing IBD
  • Vitamin D –low levels increase risk of IBD in Caucasians.
  • Fiber –a “diet high in fiber protects against Crohn’s disease.”

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JD Lewis, MT Abreu.”Diet as a Trigger or Therapy for Inflammatory Bowel Disease”  Gastroenterology 2017; 152: 398-414.

“The most common question asked by patient is …’Doctor, what should I eat?'”

Key points:

  • Data from studies of immigrants to higher-IBD prevalence countries show an increasing incidence of IBD, leading to the hypothesis that environmental factors such as diet affect risk of IBD.
  • In early life, breast milk, in some but not all studies, has been associated with a lower risk of childhood-onset IBD.
  • Before development of IBD, studies have shown lower risk of IBD “among people who consume more fruits and vegetables, and a higher risk in people who consume less of these and more animal fats and sugar.”
  • “There is little information about which foods induce flares.” However, for UC, “a high intake of meat, especially red and processed meat, protein, alcoholic beverages, sulfur, and sulfate increased the likelihood of a flare” based on food questionnaires.  In patients with CD, diet with higher “total fat, saturated fat, monounsaturated fatty acids, and a higher ratio of omega-6:omega-3 PUFAs was associated with disease relapses.”
  • “Only approximately half of patients have ever received advice from a dietitian.”
  • Oral iron may trigger flares in a small percentage of patients with IBD.  The authors note that adherent E coli express genes for iron acquisition and require iron for growth.

Specific Diets/Additives:  Most of these diets have been discussed in previous posts, including:

Exclusive (and Partial) Enteral Nutrition:

  • “The most widely studied dietary intervention.” It has been shown to be effective for CD.  More elemental formulas have NOT been shown to be more effective.  “EEN and PEN therapy is less likely to normalize fecal levels of calprotectin in children.”
  • “Dietary therapy reduced inflammation and led to changes in the microbiome within 1 week. Unlike TNF antagonists, however, the changes to the microbiome induced by EEN did not lead to a microbiome resembling that of healthy individuals.”

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD):

  • This diet has been studied in small populations.  Suskind et al reported SCD effectiveness “in 7 children with CD…showed that fecal calprotectin level decreased from a mean of 685 mcg/g to 213 mcg/g at 2-6 after starting the diet.”  “Cohen et al used video capsule endoscopy…in 10 children with CD…Four of 10 children achieved complete mucosal healing (Lewis score <135) and 6 of 10 children achieved clinical remission.”

Low FODMAP diet:

  • While the diet may induce symptom improvement, there is no “evidence that a low FODMAP diet reduces inflammation.”

Vitamin D supplementation:

  • “Vitamin D has multiple potential beneficial effects on intestinal inflammation.” The authors review studies that report lower risk of CD in patients with higher vitamin D levels and on the reduction in relapse in a study of CD patients who were in remission and  treated with Vitamin D (1200 IU daily)

Curcumin supplementation:

  • The authors review two small studies which suggested that curcumin for patients with ulcerative colitis increased clinical remission (when used with mesalamine)

The overall advice the authors give is that patients “should be advised to eat a well-balanced diet, such as the Mediterranean-style diet, avoiding processed foods or foods that they self-identify as worsening their symptoms.  Patients who are committed to attempting to manage their disease predominantly through dietary modification should be counseled about the importance of assessing for resolution of inflammation in addition to symptoms.”

Other Related blog posts:

Disclaimer: These blog posts are for educational purposes only. Specific dosing of medications/diets (along with potential adverse effects) should be confirmed by prescribing physician/nutritionist.  This content is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified healthcare provider. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a condition.

Increasing Rates of Abdominal Wall Birth Defect (Gastroschisis)

From NY Times summary of recent study, “Rate of Birth Defect of Abdominal Wall Increasing, CDC Says“:

The prevalence of gastroschisis has increased by about 30 percent, to 4.9 births out of 10,000 during the period from 2006 to 2012, from 3.6 per 10,000 live births from 1995 to 2005, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

My take: This epidemiology is definitely concerning.  Though most children with gastroschisis do well over time, some have serious problems and many require prolonged hospitalizations after birth.