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News from August 2012

Paradox of Prosperity: Raising the Profile on Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The Alberta IBD Consortium is raising the profile on inflammatory bowel disease through a broad health literacy outreach. A landmark study by Dr. Gil Kaplan, MSc graduate and MD student Natalie Molodecky, and colleagues, has highlighted the increasing incidence and prevalence of IBD in the developed and developing world. With genetics remaining relatively stable over the past century, this rise in IBD points to the important role of environmental factors. This “paradox of prosperity” is that as countries adopt wide-scale industrial production (and associated pollution), diets high is salt, fat, and sugar, and decrease their exposure to intestinal pathogens they are at increased risk for developing inflammatory bowel diseases.

In addition to this article being published in the high impact journal Gastroenterology (Jan 2012, 46–54), it has drawn regional, national, and international media attention. Interviews with Dr. Kaplan about this important work were carried by 11 Alberta TV and Radio outlets in Edmonton and Calgary. Further reach was achieved through digital and print media with 29 articles appearing in places such as the Toronto Sun, and on the websites of The American Association of Gastroenterology, Dallas News, and the London Free Press.

Dr. Gilaad Kaplan and Natalie Molodecky

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