original article

Vol. 11 No. 1


June 2019

— Nwokediuko SC, Adekanle O, Akere A, Olokoba A, Anyanechi C, Umar M S, Maiyaki A, Ijoma U, Obienu O, Uhunmwangho A and Ndububa D


Aims: Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disorder characterized by abdominal pain or discomfort in association with altered bowel habits in the absence of organic disease. This study was designed to determine the prevalence and risk factors of IBS in Nigeria, a typical multiethnic and multicultural African population.

Methods: In this observational, cross sectional and descriptive study of adult Nigerians, a questionnaire containing information on socio-demographic data, the IBS module of Rome III diagnostic criteria for functional gastrointestinal disorders and putative risk factors for IBS was administered to participants. Height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference and waist to hip ratio were determined for all the participants.

Results: Out of 3522 subjects who participated in the study across the country, 429 subjects (12.2%) met the diagnostic criteria for IBS. The commonest subtype of IBS was the mixed type (IBS-M) with a prevalence of 38.7%. The prevalence of IBS differed in the geo-political zones of Nigeria with higher prevalence in the North compared with the South (2=616.6, P=0.0007). Females had a higher prevalence than males (2=10.9,
P=0.001). Independent predictors of IBS were cigarette smoking and being unemployed with respective odd ratios of 8.8 (CI: 7.5-10.2) and 3.4 (1.9-6.0).

Conclusion: The prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome in Nigeria is 12.2%. It is significantly more common in the Northern part of the country compared with the South. Independent predictors of the condition include cigarette smoking and unemployment.


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