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An epidemiologic study of irritable bowel syndrome in adolescents and children in South China: a school-based study.

Child Care Health Dev. 2010 Jul 14;

Authors: Zhou H, Li D, Cheng G, Fan J, Lu H

Abstract Background To explore the prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) among school-aged children in South China, and identify distribution characteristics and contributing factors. Methods Primary, middle and high school students (n= 2013) were recruited from schools in Shanghai. Students completed two questionnaires, one for IBS in adolescents and children and the Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED). Results (1) The prevalence of IBS among students was 20.72% and the incidence increased with age. (2) Several physical factors and overuse of analgesics were significantly associated with IBS. (3) The prevalence of anxiety disorder was higher in older students, and in females vs. males. Students with IBS tended towards anxiety-related emotional disorders (38.14% vs. 18.96%). (4) IBS students scored higher in all SCARED categories. Within IBS students, those who frequently sought medical care reported higher scores in the somatization/panic category. Conclusion (1) Irritable bowel syndrome is a common disorder among adolescents in South China and prevalence increases with age. (2) Gastrointestinal infection, abuse of analgesics and psychological factors might be related to the incidence of IBS. (3) The tendency towards anxiety-related emotional disorders also increases with age, suggesting a possible correlation with IBS and underlining the importance of positive family and school environments. Although the prevalence of anxiety-related emotional disorders was higher in females than males, this trend was not correlated with the occurrence of IBS.

PMID: 20645991 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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