Prevalence of functional gastrointestinal disorders in Taiwan: questionnaire-based survey for adults based on the Rome III criteria

Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2012;21(4):594-600.


Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGID) are a group of disorders of the digestive system in which the chronic or recurrent symptoms cannot be explained by the presence of structural or tissue abnormality. This survey used a modified Rome III questionnaire on the health and nutrition status of a general population in Taiwan during 2005-2008. A total of 4,275 responders completed the questionnaire. The sample was evenly distributed for men (n=2,137) and women (n=2,138). The prevalence of FGID was 26.2%. Unspecified functional bowel disorder was the most prevalent (8.9%). The second was functional dyspepsia (5.3%), and the third were irritable bowel syndrome (4.4%) and functional constipation (4.4%). Women had a greater prevalence than males (33.2% compared to 22.4%, p<0.05) with regards to total FGID. Most categories of FGID were significantly prominent in women, except functional diarrhea. The FGID groups took fewer servings of vegetables and fruits than the non-FGID group each day (vegetables 2.51 vs 2.70, p<0.001; fruits 0.82 vs 0.91, p<0.001). Smoking, alcohol consumption, and betel nut chewing had no significant impaction on prevalence of FGID. The mean BSRS (brief-symptom rating scale) for screening depression and suicide ideation was higher in the FGID group (2.86 vs 1.63, p<0.001). In conclusion, FGID diagnosed with Rome III criteria are not uncommon in Taiwan's general population. Subjects who met the Rome III criteria for FGID in Taiwan were younger, had less vegetables and fruits intake, higher BSRS scores and were of greater female predominance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Depression / etiology
  • Diet / adverse effects
  • Diet / ethnology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / psychology
  • Gastrointestinal Tract / physiopathology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Sex Factors
  • Taiwan / epidemiology
  • Young Adult