Background: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort that is associated with altered bowel habit. Both its prevalence and clinical characteristics vary throughout Latin America. A percentage of patients does not seek medical attention, therefore a reliable prevalence figure can only be established by interviewing non-selected populations. Aims: To study the prevalence and clinical characteristics of IBS symptoms in non-selected subjects in Santiago, Chile. Methods: A total of 437 shopping mall visitors above the age of 15 years (246 women) participated in the study by answering the Rome II validated questionnaire for IBS. The demographic and socioeconomic backgrounds, comorbidities, and a family history of IBS were registered. Results: A total of 64.1% subjects reported having gastrointestinal symptoms and 28.6% had symptoms suggestive of IBS. When the subjects with IBS symptoms were compared with the asymptomatic individuals, a predominance of women (65.6 vs. 42.9, P>.001) and a greater cholecystectomy frequency (33.6 vs. 12.9% P>.05) were observed in the former. The age of symptom onset was 30.4 years. An equal percentage of subjects (42.4%) presented with diarrhea and constipation and 15.2% presented with alternating IBS. Participants with a higher educational level reported a lower percentage of IBS (P>.05). A family history of the disease was present in 40% of the subjects with IBS, compared with 14.9% in the asymptomatic individuals (P>.05). Only 39.2% of the subjects had seen a physician for their symptoms and the treatment and tests ordered were inappropriate. Conclusion: The prevalence of IBS symptoms in the population studied is one of the highest described. Therefore, health teams should have the necessary knowledge and skill required for its management.
|Translated title of the contribution||The prevalence of irritable bowel symptoms in a population of shopping mall visitors in Santiago de Chile|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Revista de Gastroenterologia de Mexico|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2013|
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