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Effects of Birth Cohorts on the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Support Early-Life Risk Factors

Effects of Birth Cohorts on the Irritable Bowel Syndrome Support Early-Life Risk Factors

Digestive Diseases and Sciences 60(7): 2112-2118

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is common with prevalence reported between 10 and 20 %. IBS clusters in families but it is unknown whether this is explained by a common environment, genes, or both. If early-life factors are important, IBS might be expected to demonstrate a birth cohort phenomenon. To investigate whether there is a birth cohort phenomenon for subjects with IBS. Validated questionnaires were sent to a random sample of Olmsted County, Minnesota, residents who recorded gastrointestinal symptoms; IBS diagnosis was based on the modified Rome criteria. Birth cohorts were chosen a priori based on historical national trends in birth weights using 10-year increments. Logistic regression was used to develop odds ratios to assess the association of IBS with calendar period, birth cohort, age, gender, and somatic symptom score. A total of 4,893 surveys were completed with an overall survey response rate of 58 %. The survey responders were between 25 and 94 years of age and 53 % were female. The overall prevalence of IBS was 16.2 % (95 % CI 15.3-17.4). The univariate association of IBS with birth cohort was significant (p < 0.001) as was the association adjusted for age and gender. The prevalence of IBS was highest for the birth cohort 1963-1972 with an odds ratio of 2.6 (95 % CI 0.97-7.0, p = 0.058). Population-based data support a possible birth cohort phenomenon in IBS. If correct, early-life risk factors likely play a key role in the development of IBS.

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Accession: 057718058

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25680871

DOI: 10.1007/s10620-015-3565-4

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