Background: Previous studies have shown that the prevalence
of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is 10% - 15% in the general population. IBS is
a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain, abdominal
discomfort and disordered defecation associated with a stressful life . However,
the cause of IBS has not been clarified yet. Based on a similar, previous study
in Japan, this study investigated the prevalence of IBS and the relationship between IBS and stress, life and dietary habits among nursing and medical school
students in China. Methods: Designed to investigate IBS symptoms, life- , dietary
intake, life events, anxiety and depresssion, a blank self-administrated questionnaire
was used to survey 2500 nursing or medical students in China. Questionnaires were
collected from 2141 stu- dents (85.6%) and responses obtained from 1934 students
(90.3%) were analyzed. Results: On the whole, the prevalence of IBS was 32.1% in
this study, 26.6% in males and 33.6% in females. In females, the IBS group showed
a bedtime later than that in the non-IBS group, and the length of time asleep in
the IBS group was shorter than that in the non-IBS group (p < 0.001, p = 0.005).
In females, the IBS group showed a frequency for the intake of vegetables and potatoes
that was lower than that of the non-IBS group (p = 0.007, p = 0.023). The
prevalence of IBS among nursing and medical school students in China (32.1%) was
significantly lower than that in Japan (35.5%). Especially, the number of females
in the constipation dominant IBS subgroup in China (11.8%) was less than that found
in Japan (20.4%). Conclusions: The prevalence of IBS was high among nursing and
medical students in China, but lower than that shown in Japan.
Cite this paper
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