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Life event stress amongst people with irritable bowel syndrome / functional dyspepsia in the general population an over rated risk factor?



Life event stress amongst people with irritable bowel syndrome / functional dyspepsia in the general population an over rated risk factor?



Digestive Disease Week Abstracts & Itinerary Planner : Abstract No T1413



BACKGROUND: There is conflicting data on whether life event stress is associated with IBS/FD and/or health care seeking for these disorders. Many of the studies however have been limited by the use of less reliable self-report measures of life events and a focus on out-patients with IBS/FD, which may be potentially biased. In a population-based study, we hypothesized that people with IBS/FD will experience more life event stress versus healthy controls, regardless of health care seeking status. METHODS: 207 subjects identified from a previous population survey who also met Rome I criteria for IBS or FD were included in the study. Of these, 49.8% (n=103) had sought medical care gtoreq 1 for their symptoms in the past year. Controls (n=100) did not report having any abdominal pain for gtoreq 3 months from this original survey. All subjects were interviewed using the Life Events Difficulties Schedule which assesses the number of life events including both acute events and chronic difficulties (lasting more than 6 months) that occurred in the past year and the short and long term (present after one week) threat and goal frustration associated with these events. RESULTS: Indicators of life events stress did not significantly differentiate between people with IBS/FD and controls or between IBS/FD consulters versus non-consulters (Table 1). The exception was that significantly more people with IBS/FD did experience at least one acute event that was highly threatening after one week compared with controls (10% vs 1%). Aspects of life event stress did not independently predict having a diagnosis of IBS/FD or seeking health care for IBS/FD, except for highly threatening acute events in the long term (OR= 10.0, 95%CI 1.31-76.28) which significantly predicted meeting an IBS/FD diagnosis even after controlling for age and sex. CONCLUSIONS: Life event stress does not appear to be overly important in explaining IBS/FD or health care seeking for these disorders.

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