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Gastrointestinal dysfunction in a community sample of subjects with symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome

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BACKGROUND/AIM: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects about 15-20% of the population of the Western countries. Traditionally, IBS has been an exclusion diagnosis, but recently definitions have emerged from population-based research. The aim of this population-based study was to evaluate any association between gastrointestinal pathophysiology and IBS in subjects with symptoms of IBS compared to subjects with no abdominal complaints.

METHODS: From a random sample of 2,656 participants, subjects with IBS (32) together with subjects without abdominal complaints (26), were invited for further evaluation. IBS was defined as more than weekly experience of abdominal pain and distension, and in addition either borborygmia or altering stool consistency. The diagnostic work-up consisted of gastroscopy, manometry and 23-hour pH and pressure recordings of the oesophagus, lactose tolerance test, barium enema, measurement of colonic transit time, and rectoscopy.

RESULTS: Compared to the group without abdominal complaints significantly more subjects with IBS had spasms of the colon (OR = 10.2 (1.2-87.3)), and abnormal contractions of the oesophagus at manometry (OR = 9.1 (1.1-78.2)). Furthermore, there was a non-significant tendency towards spasms at 23-hour pH and pressure recordings (OR = 3.58 (0.4-35.2)), and more discomfort at lactose tolerance test (OR = 5.8 (0.6-51.3)) in persons with IBS compared to subjects without abdominal complaints.

CONCLUSION: The results of this population-based study indicate that signs of gastrointestinal dysmotility and hyperperception are more prevalent in subjects with IBS than in subjects without abdominal complaints.

Original languageEnglish
JournalDigestion
Volume67
Issue number1-2
Pages (from-to)14-9
Number of pages6
ISSN0012-2823
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

    Research areas

  • Adult, Barium Sulfate, Case-Control Studies, Colonic Diseases, Functional, Enema, Female, Gastrointestinal Motility, Humans, Lactose Tolerance Test, Male, Manometry, Middle Aged, Prevalence, Proctoscopy, Comparative Study, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

ID: 49897194