The incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been steadily rising in Asia over recent years. Postulated etiologic factors include a shift in dietary patterns, environment and lifestyle towards that of the urbanised Western population. While there is a growing amount of published epidemiological data in adult-onset inflammatory bowel disease, the clinicopathological characteristics of paediatric inflammatory bowel disease (PIBD) are unique and may not be extrapolated from adult literature. In addition, genetic and demographic differences also influence the disease behaviour of IBD outside the Western world - for instance, typical genes associated with IBD in the West are not found in Asian populations; fulminant ulcerative colitis in Asia is rarely encountered and there is a higher prevalence of ileocolonic involvement in Asian patients with IBD. There lies a clear knowledge gap of epidemiological information from Asian IBD cohorts, much less so from PIBD as a subset population. The way forward would be the establishment of an Asian PIBD Research Network to reflect the current situation of PIBD in this part of the world.
Goals of the network:
- Prospective Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Registry to identify disease patterns amongst the Asian PIBD cohort, and to pool valuable clinical data that would be of scientific interest to the global community managing IBD
- Platform for multicenter studies / clinical trials/ translational research in Paediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease