Gastroenterology 2018 10 27;155(4):1079-1089.e3. Epub 2018 Jun 27.
Division of Gastroenterology, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, New York.
Background & Aims: Although the incidence of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) varies with age, few studies have examined variations between the sexes. We therefore used population data from established cohorts to analyze sex differences in IBD incidence according to age at diagnosis.
Methods: We identified population-based cohorts of patients with IBD for which incidence and age data were available (17 distinct cohorts from 16 regions of Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand). We collected data through December 2016 on 95,605 incident cases of Crohn's disease (CD) (42,831 male and 52,774 female) and 112,004 incident cases of ulcerative colitis (UC) (61,672 male and 50,332 female). We pooled incidence rate ratios of CD and UC for the combined cohort and compared differences according to sex using random effects meta-analysis.
Results: Female patients had a lower risk of CD during childhood, until the age range of 10-14 years (incidence rate ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.53-0.93), but they had a higher risk of CD thereafter, which was statistically significant for the age groups of 25-29 years and older than 35 years. The incidence of UC did not differ significantly for female vs male patients (except for the age group of 5-9 years) until age 45 years; thereafter, men had a significantly higher incidence of ulcerative colitis than women.
Conclusions: In a pooled analysis of population-based studies, we found age at IBD onset to vary with sex. Further studies are needed to investigate mechanisms of sex differences in IBD incidence.