Epidemiology and Burden of Irritable Bowel Syndrome: An International Perspective

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2021 Sep;50(3):489-503. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2021.04.001.


Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) prevalence rates are based on diagnostic criteria, the basis for case definitions. Diagnostic criteria have a substantial impact on prevalence rates, which are significant for understanding burden of disease, comparing global subpopulations, generating pathophysiologic research, allocating of health care and research resources, and incentivizing and prioritizing new treatments. There are substantial methodological pitfalls in epidemiologic research, so determining regional and global IBS prevalence rates is problematic. The Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Study was designed to resolve these problems and achieve more valid results. The results of this study are presented in detail; future directions are discussed.

Keywords: Diagnostic criteria; Disorders of gut-brain interaction; Epidemiology; Irritable bowel syndrome; Prevalence; Research methodology; Rome Foundation Global Epidemiology Study; Rome criteria.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internationality
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / diagnosis
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Prevalence