New study documents burden of irritable bowel syndrome for U.S. sufferers

October 21, 2002

Seattle, WA (October 21, 2002) - Results of a survey of patients with irritable bowel syndrome in the United States presented at the 67th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology reveal a substantial burden on patients, including decreased quality of life, high out-of-pocket costs, and losses in productivity among other findings.

IBS is a cluster of symptoms consisting commonly of abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Some IBS patients experience alternating diarrhea and constipation. IBS is a functional disorder of the intestine. There is no sign of the disease that can be seen or measured, but the intestine is not functioning normally. It is common, occurring in about one in five Americans, more commonly in women. It usually begins in late adolescence or early adult life and rarely appears for the first time after the age of 50.

A survey mailed to 1,340 members of a national patient advocacy organization representing those with irritable bowel syndrome resulted in 657 responses. The survey, developed by Mugdha Gore, Ph.D. of Avalon Health Solutions on behalf of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, solicited information on patient demographics, disease history, symptom frequency and bothersomeness, health care utilization, medication use, out-of-pocket expenses, and impact of symptoms upon productivity and functioning.

Of the respondents, 65% met accepted criteria for IBS (Rome II). Of these, 95% were white, 79% female, and 58 % single. Their mean age was 54 and mean age at IBS diagnosis was 41 years. Among those with IBS, 99% experienced one or more GI symptom during the past 3 months, and two-thirds of IBS patients experienced 10 to 24 GI symptoms during this time.

Almost all (97%) had two or more consults with a health care professional for their GI disorder in the last three months, and 75% reported had four or more consults (visits and telephone calls.)

The use of multiple over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications and alternative therapies was common: 89% reported taking at least 3 three therapies (1 Rx, 1 OTC and 1 alternative.) Over 40% reported taking two or more of each Rx (57%), OTC (47%) and alternative therapies (43%.) Patients spent an average of $258 for their GI disorder during the past three months, according to the survey findings.

Of IBS patients who work, 39% reported missing work and decreased productivity an average of 6 days and 16 days respectively, and decreased productivity at home an average of 16 days in the last three months. Ninety percent reported limited ability to perform important daily activities due to their GI disorder.
-end-
The ACG was formed in 1932 to advance the scientific study and medical treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The College promotes the highest standards in medical education and is guided by its commitment to meeting the needs of clinical gastroenterology practitioners. Consumers can get more information on GI diseases through the following ACG-sponsored programs:

American College of Gastroenterology

Related Irritable Bowel Syndrome Articles from Brightsurf:

Giant spider provides promise of pain relief for irritable bowel syndrome
Molecules from the venom of one of the world's largest spiders could help University of Queensland-led researchers tailor pain blockers for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

An aspirin a day keeps the bowel doctor away
A regular dose of aspirin to reduce the risk of inherited bowel cancer lasts at least 10 years after stopping treatment, research has revealed.

Mindfulness program may benefit patients with irritable bowel syndrome
Adults with irritable bowel syndrome experienced fewer gastrointestinal symptoms after they participated in a mindfulness program meant to reduce stress.

The Lancet Gasteroenterology & Hepatology: First clinical trial finds probiotic treatment with dead bacteria is better than placebo at alleviating symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome
Probiotic bacteria that have been killed by heat can significantly improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) compared to placebo, and are not associated with any safety risk, according to a new 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial with 443 patients published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology journal.

Are steroids used too much for patients with inflammatory bowel disease?
Steroid therapy is commonly used to treat acute attacks of the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease; however, because it does not provide long-term benefits and it carries a risk of serious side effects, it should not be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease for more than three months.

New, noninvasive test for bowel diseases
Gut diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are increasingly prevalent worldwide, especially in industrialized countries.

HKBU discovers mechanisms underlying early life stress and irritable bowel syndrome
Researchers from Hong Kong Baptist University have found that the abnormal rise of a soluble protein called Nerve Growth Factor is a key factor linking early life stress to the development of irritable bowel syndrome.

Microbiome science may help doctors deliver more effective, personalized treatment to children with irritable bowel syndrome
To improve the treatment of children with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), investigators have developed a sophisticated way to analyze the microbial and metabolic contents of the gut.

The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology: Hypnotherapy could help relieve irritable bowel syndrome symptoms
Peer-reviewed / Randomised Controlled Trial / People Gut-directed hypnotherapy delivered by psychologists appears as effective in group or individual sessions, potentially offering a new treatment option for irritable bowel syndrome in primary and secondary care

Early source of irritable bowel syndrome discovered
Michigan State University scientists have identified an early cause of intestinal inflammation, one of the first stages of inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome, which afflict around 11 percent of the world's population.

Read More: Irritable Bowel Syndrome News and Irritable Bowel Syndrome Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.