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BRUSSELS OFFICE : +32 (0)2 895 5709

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Study reveals children suffering from IBD face safety risk

16/05/17Health

A new study has highlighted that children suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not meeting the daily recommended intake of calcium and vitamin D.

The research, conducted at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, UK, identified that only 26.6% and 21.3% of paediatric IBD patients were achieving the current recommended intake for calcium and vitamin D respectively.

Medical experts from United European Gastroenterology (UEG) are calling for immediate intervention to ensure that paediatric IBD patients are not put at risk of experiencing poor bone health and development, calcium homeostasis imbalance and vitamin D deficiencies.

Achieving optimal levels of calcium and vitamin D is essential for developing children, especially in patients with IBD, as research suggests that children and adolescents with the disease develop suboptimal bone health in comparison to their peers.

Rita Shergill-Bonner, principal dietician at Great Ormond Street, said: “When taking into account their young age and modern eating habits, coupled with the emotional, psychological and physical stress of living with IBD, it can be hard for paediatric patients to maintain a balanced diet and a sufficient intake of the right nutrients.

“We therefore urge the parents and carers of paediatric IBD patients to monitor their children’s diets carefully to ensure they are consuming the right foods to help their disease course and ensure adequate and normal development.”

Professor Philippe van Hootegem, UEG IBD expert, added: “There are many effective drugs available to help treat IBD but there are still a lot of unmet needs in both child and adult patients. Interesting and hopeful new drugs, some of which are to be taken orally, are in their final development stage. Nevertheless, a definitive curative therapy is not on the horizon yet and future research is still needed.”

29 May is World Digestive Health Day and this year health organisations from around the world are coming together to highlight the issues affecting patients living with IBD.