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Trauma history and risk of irritable bowel syndrome in women veterans.

Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2010 Jun 4;

Authors: White DL, Savas LS, Daci K, Elserag R, Graham DP, Fitzgerald SJ, Smith SL, Tan G, El-Serag HB

Abstract Background: Over 1.8 million women in the U.S. are veterans of the armed services. They are at increased risk of occupational traumas, including military sexual trauma. We evaluated the association between major traumas and irritable bowel syndrome among women veterans accessing VA healthcare. Methods: We administered questionnaires to assess trauma history as well as IBS, PTSD and depression symptoms to 337 women veterans seen for primary care at VA Women's Clinic between 2006 and 2007. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the association between individual traumas and IBS risk after adjustment for age, ethnicity, PTSD and depression. Results: IBS prevalence was 33.5%. The most frequently reported trauma was sexual assault (38.9%). Seventeen of eighteen traumas were associated with increased IBS risk after adjusting for age, ethnicity, PTSD and depression, with six statistically significant (range of adjusted odds ratios (OR) between 1.85 [95% CI, 1.08-3.16] and 2.6 [95% CI, 1.28-3.67]). Depression and PTSD were significantly more common in IBS cases than controls, but neither substantially explained the association between trauma and increased IBS risk. Conclusions: Women veterans report high frequency of physical and sexual traumas. Lifetime history of a broad range of traumas is independently associated with an elevated IBS risk.

PMID: 20528828 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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