Irritable bowel-type symptoms in HMO examinees. Prevalence, demographics, and clinical correlates

Dig Dis Sci. 1993 Sep;38(9):1581-9. doi: 10.1007/BF01303163.


A study of irritable bowel-type symptoms in 1264 health examinees using a self-administered questionnaire and psychological tests revealed they are common throughout adulthood. Of affected subjects 68% were female, and those with the more severe type (> or = 3 Manning criteria) were predominantly female (80%). Fewer Asians than other racial/ethnic groups had these symptoms. Nongastrointestinal symptoms, physician visits, incontinence, laxative use, a stress effect on bowel pattern and abdominal pain, abdominal surgery, hysterectomy, childhood abuse, use of mind-altering drugs, depression, and anxiety were correlated with irritable bowel-type symptoms. Regression analysis found some of the clinical correlates were independent markers for irritable bowel-type symptoms and that sexual abuse was related to nongastrointestinal symptoms and abdominal surgery independent of irritable bowel-type symptoms. More severe irritable bowel-type symptoms were especially associated with nongastrointestinal symptoms, stress effects, sexual abuse, use of sedatives and oral narcotics, and a past alcohol problem. There are important demographic and clinical correlates with irritable bowel-type symptoms.

MeSH terms

  • Abdomen / surgery
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child Abuse / complications
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / epidemiology*
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / etiology
  • Colonic Diseases, Functional / psychology
  • Female
  • Health Maintenance Organizations
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Odds Ratio
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Stress, Physiological / complications
  • Substance-Related Disorders / complications