The role of genetics in IBS

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2011 Mar;40(1):45-67. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2010.12.011.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that has been shown to aggregate in families and to affect multiple generations, but not in a manner consistent with a major Mendelian effect. Relatives of an individual with IBS are 2 to 3 times as likely to have IBS, with both genders being affected. To date, more than 100 genetic variants in more than 60 genes from various pathways have been studied in a number of candidate gene studies, with several positive associations reported. These findings suggest that there may be distinct, as well as shared, molecular underpinnings for IBS and its subtypes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Causality
  • Endophenotypes
  • Humans
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome / genetics*
  • Multifactorial Inheritance
  • Twin Studies as Topic