Am J Gastroenterol. 2002 Nov;97(11):2803-11.Utility of the Rome I and Rome II criteria for irritable bowel syndrome in U.S. women.Chey WD, Olden K, Carter E, Boyle J, Drossman D, Chang L.University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA.OBJECTIVES: Using interview data from a large, community-based sample of American women, we assessed the lifetime prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) using questions consistent with the Rome II criteria, determined the sensitivity of Rome I and II in women diagnosed with IBS by their community physician, and identified whether there are differences in the patients identified by Rome I versus II. METHODS: A geographically diverse national probability sample of women diagnosed with IBS was identified and interviewed by telephone screening of a national, random digit dialing sample of households. A parallel national survey of adult females was conducted to determine the lifetime prevalence of IBS in U.S. women. Screening and interviews were conducted by experienced, female interviewers. IBS was defined by variations on the Rome I/II criteria. RESULTS: In the national community sample, lifetime IBS prevalence was 5.4% using Rome II. Full interviews were completed in 1,014 IBS patients. In the IBS sample, Rome I was significantly more sensitive than Rome II (84% vs 49%, p < 0.001). There was 47% agreement between Rome I and II. Of patients with IBS by Rome I, 58% met Rome II. Only 17.7% did not meet either Rome I or II. CONCLUSIONS: Rome I was more sensitive than Rome II in this community sample of female IBS patients. Rome I/II do not necessarily identify the same IBS patients. These findings have important implications for clinical research in IBS patients and raise questions about whether the Rome II criteria are sensitive enough to be useful in clinical practice.