Prevalence of irritable bowel syndrome: a community survey in an African population.Ann Afr Med. 2009 Jul-Sep; 8(3):177-80.AA
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) has been reported to be common in the West. Community surveys are lacking in the African setting. We determined the prevalence of IBS in a rural community setting in Nigeria.
Questionnaires were administered to consenting individuals. Subjects satisfying the Rome II criteria for IBS were invited for physical examination at a health center to identify the presence of "alarm factors."
One hundred forty (31.6%) of the 443 evaluated individuals fulfilled the Rome II criteria for IBS, with a male-to-female ratio of 1.37:1 (P= .11). The prevalence of IBS was highest (39.3%) in the third decade, followed by 25% in the fourth decade (P= .009). Ninety-six (67%) IBS individuals had the alternating pattern of diarrhea and constipation, whereas 28 (20%) and 19 (13%) had constipation and diarrhea subtypes, respectively.
IBS as diagnosed by the Rome II criteria has a high prevalence in the African rural population, as obtained elsewhere.