Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a chronic functional gastrointestinal disorder.
The team studied the natural history of the condition extensively, but few studies have examined factors that predict its new onset or health care-seeking behavior.
Dr Alexander Ford and colleagues from the United Kingdom contacted individuals, now aged 50 to 59 years, originally enrolled in a population-screening program for Helicobacter pylori via postal questionnaire, utilizing the Manning criteria for IBS diagnosis.
|17% consulted a primary care physician with symptoms|
|The American Journal of Gastroenterology|
Baseline demographic data, quality of life, and IBS and dyspepsia symptom data were already on file.
Consent to examine primary care records was sought, and data regarding IBS- and dyspepsia-related consultations were extracted.
The researchers found that of the 8,407 individuals originally involved, 3,873 provided symptom data at baseline and 10-year follow-up.
Of 3,659 individuals without IBS at baseline, 15% developed new-onset IBS at 10-year follow-up.
The team found after multivariate logistic regression, lower quality of life at baseline, dyspepsia at baseline, and female gender were significant risk factors for new-onset IBS.
Of 651 individuals with IBS at either baseline or 10-year follow-up, 17% consulted a primary care physician with symptoms.
Helicobacter pylori infection, and any dyspepsia-related consultation significantly increased the likelihood of consultation.
Dr Ford's team concluded, "Poor quality of life at baseline was a strong predictor of new-onset IBS, but not of IBS-related consultation behavior."
"IBS-related consultation behavior was associated with consultation for dyspepsia during the study period."