What is the global prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019
  • Author: Mohammad F El-Baba, MD; Chief Editor: Carmen Cuffari, MD  more...
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Prevalence in developing countries is probably lower than in Western countries, but this may be explained by a combination of reduced availability of medical care and different cultural approaches to illness.

A 2017 cross-sectional study of children aged 10-18 years in eight schools in Lagos, Africa, found a 16.0% prevalence in this age group, with a decreasing prevalence with increasing age. [22]  Recurrent abdominal pain was the most common symptom (62.5% of the children), and females were affected more than males. Significant risk factors for IBS were sex, socioeconomic status, and a previous history of gastroenteritis. [22]

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