Healthy Living

Is 21st Century Living Responsible for Crohn's Disease?

IBD spikes in newly industrialized countries

This upward trend and subsequent plateau became even more significant as Kaplan began to examine cases of inflammatory bowel disease in recently industrialized countries. Kaplan writes that “as newly industrialized countries have transitioned towards a westernized society, inflammatory bowel disease emerges and its incidence rises rapidly.” The identification of the trend quickly put research onto industrialization and the western lifestyle, and offered a troubling glimpse of the future. As more and more countries are riding the wave of globalization, it is possible that they will also be burdened with the complexities and costliness of inflammatory bowel disease. The cost of treating the condition is steep, and is estimated in the US to be between $12.6 and $31.6 billion per year. Few developing countries have the clinical infrastructure to manage prevalent inflammatory bowel disease, yet the data show that they might need to as they industrialize.