Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) may occur more often than expected by chance.
However, little community data exists and risk factors are unknown.
Professor Talley and colleagues from Minnesota, USA determined prevalence and risk factors for overlap of GERD and irritable bowel syndrome.
The team conducted a population-based, cross-sectional survey by mailing a valid symptom questionnaire to eligible residents aged 30 to 95 years.
| The prevalence of IBS-GERD overlap was 3% in men|
|Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics|
Irritable bowel syndrome was defined by Rome III, and GERD was defined by weekly or more frequent heartburn and/or acid regurgitation.
The researchers reported that 2298 questionnaires returned, a 55% response rate.
The research team found that irritable bowel syndrome and GERD occurred together more commonly than expected by chance.
The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome-GERD overlap, GERD alone and irritable bowel syndrome alone was 3%, 15% and 5% in men, respectively.
The team noted that the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome-GERD overlap, GERD alone and irritable bowel syndrome alone was 4%, 14% and 10% in women, respectively.
Predictors of irritable bowel syndrome-GERD overlap vs irritable bowel syndrome alone, and separately, GERD alone, were insomnia and frequent abdominal pain.
The team noted that an additional predictors of irritable bowel syndrome-GERD overlap vs GERD alone were higher somatization and a higher body mass index.
Professor Talley's team concludes, "Irritable bowel syndrome and GERD overlap is common in the population and does not occur by chance."