A study of irritable bowel syndrome diagnosed by Manning criteria in an African population

Dig Dis Sci. 1995 May;40(5):983-5. doi: 10.1007/BF02064186.


Symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) using the Manning Criteria were sought by a questionnaire administered to 400 (male-female ratio 3:1) apparently healthy medical students. With a response rate of 84%, 230 (65.5%) reported more than six episodes of abdominal pain in the preceding year (1992-1993). Contrary to expectation, 100 (43.5%) reported symptoms consistent with the diagnosis of IBS. The one-year period prevalence of the syndrome was 30% overall, with prevalence figures of 24% for males and 48% for females (P < 0.01). There was no difference in the type of diet (mainly high-fiber diets) consumed by subjects with and without IBS. About two thirds of the subjects with IBS had sought medical advice during the study period; the consultation behavior was influenced by factors such as the presence of other symptoms. This is the first detailed evidence in a random sample of an African population showing symptoms consistent with a diagnosis of IBS to be very common. It casts doubt on the assumption generated by other workers that IBS is rare among native Africans.

MeSH terms

  • Abdominal Pain / ethnology
  • Adult
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / diagnosis*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / ethnology*
  • Diet
  • Dietary Fiber / administration & dosage
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Prevalence
  • Students, Medical
  • Surveys and Questionnaires