Canada is among the countries with the highest prevalence of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with about 270,000 Canadians living with IBD today. This number is projected to increase to over 400,000 – or one per cent of the Canadian population – by 2030.
Alarmingly, this chronic autoimmune disease is increasingly being diagnosed in children, and as the population ages, a new challenge of caring for the frail elderly with IBD will present itself. Crohn’s and colitis prevalence is also increasing among Canada’s immigrant population.
November is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, a chance to raise awareness about these debilitating and lifelong diseases, which are caused by an abnormal response from the body’s immune system. “We have come a long way in increasing public awareness about these chronic diseases, but there are still serious issues facing Canadians living with Crohn’s or colitis,” says Mina Mawani, president and CEO of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
“We are steadfast in our commitment to improve the quality of life for people with IBD,” says Mawani. “This includes efforts to support patients and their doctors in making treatment decisions without government interference and making sure that access to washrooms is considered a basic human right. Ultimately, our goal is to find the cures.”
To find out more about IBD and Crohn’s and Colitis Canada: crohnsandcolitis.ca.
Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s Editorial Department was not involved in its creation.