Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome and health-related quality of life in adults aged 18 to 30 years in a Colombian University: an electronic survey

Authors Martín Cañón, Álvaro J. Ruiz, Martín Rondón, Jaime Alvarado.


Background We estimated the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and its impact on patient-reported health-related quality of life (HR-QOL) in a university-based population aged between 18 and 30 years in Bogotá, Colombia.

Methods The study had a cross-sectional design. Students, faculty, and staff aged 18-30 years of the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá, Colombia were randomly selected and invited to complete an electronic survey containing the Rome III IBS diagnostic questionnaire and an IBSspecific HR-QOL instrument (IBS-QOL).

Results A total of 1082 individuals participated in this study. The prevalence of IBS was 24.0% (95% CI 21.3-26.6%). IBS-constipation was the most common subtype (41.9%; 95% CI 35.5-48.4%). The overall IBS-QOL score indicated HR-QOL impairment (72.1/100). IBS-unsubtyped patients had the highest overall HR-QOL (constipation: 70.6; diarrhea: 67.2; mixed: 67.0; unsubtyped: 77.8; P=0.003). IBS non-consulters had higher IBS-QOL "Food Avoidance" scores than IBS consulters (60.3 vs. 45.5; P=0.002).

Conclusion IBS is a prevalent disorder in a university-based population aged 18-30 years and has a significant impact on HR-QOL. IBS-unsubtyped subjects had the highest HR-QOL compared to other subtypes. Food avoidance appears to be a key factor in seeking consultation.

Keywords Irritable bowel syndrome, prevalence, health-related quality of life, Colombia

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (1): 67-75

Original Articles