Symptom patterns and relative distribution of functional bowel disorders in 1,023 gastroenterology patients in Iran
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Background and aims: There are scanty data on functional bowel disorder (FBD) patterns in Iran. This first-time study tried to provide preliminary data on relative distribution of different types of FBD and their symptom patterns in Iranian patients. Methods: A consecutive sample of 1,023 patients in an outpatient gastroenterology clinic in central Tehran was interviewed using two questionnaires based on Rome II criteria from December 2004 to May 2005 to detect FBD patients. Results: Of 1,023 gastroenterology patients, 410 met Rome II criteria for FBD; functional constipation, 115 (28%); irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), 110 (27%) [IBS-C, 29%; IBS-D, 11%; IBS-A, 60%]; functional bloating, 102 (25%); unspecified FBD, 76 (18%); and functional diarrhea, 7 (2%). FBD had no association with age or level of education, while it was more frequent in women (P=0.001). FBD was also more frequent among those with a history of abdominal/pelvic surgery (P=0.021). IBS patients had a lower mean of age compared with non-FBD group, while patients with constipation were older (Mann-Whitney U test, P=0.006). Constipation-related symptoms were the most frequent symptoms among IBS patients. Constipation (<3 defecations/week) was also the most frequent change in bowel habit in bloating and unspecified FBD patients. Fourteen percent of IBS consulters and 8.7% of functional constipation consulters met Rome II criteria for dyspepsia (disregarding the ruling out of upper gastrointestinal organic disease). Only 20% of patients with functional constipation were consulters. Conclusions: Population-based studies at provincial levels are essential to clarify FBD patterns in each provincial district in the country. © Springer-Verlag 2006.