Prevalence of GERD is 4 Times Higher Among People With IBS

Caroline Helwick

May 20, 2012

May 19, 2012 (San Diego, California) — The prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is 4 times greater in people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) than in those without IBS, according to a meta-analysis presented by Rebecca M. Lovell, MD, from Leeds Gastroenterology Institute in the United Kingdom, here at Digestive Disease Week 2012.

IBS and GERD are both common disorders in the general population. Although it is thought that there is a degree of overlap between the 2, the strength of this association has not been examined systematically. The investigators, therefore, performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the prevalence of GERD in people with IBS.

With a literature review, 390 studies were retrieved for assessment. There were 80 separate population-based studies that reported the prevalence of IBS, according to various accepted criteria. Of these, 13 studies, with 49,939 participants, reported the proportion of people who met the criteria for GERD within the same population.

The pooled prevalence of IBS in these 13 studies was found to be 11.6% (95% confidence interval [CI], 7.1% to 17.1%). The odds of GERD in people with IBS, compared with those without, was 4.17 (95% CI, 2.85 to 6.09), Dr. Lovell reported.

Interestingly, the odds of an individual with IBS also having GERD varied according to the criteria used to define IBS.

Odds of a Person With IBS Also Having GERD

Criteria Studies, n Population, n Odds Ratio
Manning 3 5708 3.83
Rome I 5 6580 3.53
Rome II 3 18,470 4.63
Rome III 1 18,180 3.44
Questionnaire 1 1001 9.59
Any 13 49,939 4.17


"The degree of overlap varied according to the criteria used to define IBS, but remained significant in all cases," she noted. "The strength of this association suggests common pathogenetic mechanisms."

Dr. Lovell has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Digestive Disease Week (DDW) 2012. Abstract 7. Presented May 19, 2012.

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