Background: As part of a public health program, we studied the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) as per the Rome II criteria, in Shahrekord community in Iran.
Methods: The study was conducted between August 2002 and March 2003. Of 5492 randomly selected subjects aged 20 years and above (from a total population of approximately 100,000), 4762 (86.7%) successfully completed interviews to fill in a questionnaire that looked into demographic data and various symptoms during the last one year.
Results: The 12-month prevalence of IBS was 5.8%. The female-to-male ratio among subjects with IBS was 1.17:1 and was similar to that among those without IBS. Pain relieved by defecation was reported by 427 (9%) subjects, pain associated with change in bowel habit by 340 (7.1%), and pain associated with change in the form of stool by 337 (7.1%) subjects.
Conclusion: The prevalence of IBS in Shahrekord is lower than that reported from Western developed countries and is closer to that in Asian populations.